Menasha, WI (6/18/2019) – Countryside Auto Transport's Zac Zakowski changed everything in his program this year for the Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League and he proved hard work pays off as he led a handful of laps and scored a podium in the season opener. The event was held at Crandon International Off-Road Raceway in Wisconsin.
Zakowski moved to the UTV Pro Stock class for this season and brought with him a brand-new paddle shift Yamaha YXZ 1000R. With assistance from Rodney VanEperen and Powersports One, as well as many 18-hour days, Zakowski got the car ready just in time for the event.
In Saturday’s race, he started second on the random draw after qualifying was rained out. Despite cooling system issues, he drove an amazing race, finishing second during literally his first laps in the new car.
“When I hit the track Saturday, I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Zakowski. “Everyone says that about a new car that they had limited time before the race, but I literally only drove it around the parking lot before the race. It was a complete shot in the dark. We decided to do Pro Stock this year, and I’m beyond happy with the decision.”
On Sunday, Zakowski led four of the 10 laps of the event before an on-track incident ended his day early. With everything that happened before the race, including his father having hip surgery, Zakowski was ecstatic.
“The car was actually running upwards of 300 degrees the whole time on Saturday,” said Zakowski. “I had to back off on the car to keep it from blowing up because I didn’t have a spare motor. On Sunday we led four out of 10 laps. We had a gap and no one was gaining on me. It was a great run. We proved that we can run up front.”
Zakowski said his Kenda tires gave him an edge. Crandon is known for its high speeds and blue groove, so traction is key. With a fresh set of Kendas that were expertly grooved at the track, Zakowski was blown away by the amount of traction he had.
“The Kenda tires were amazing,” said Zakowski. “They grooved me a new set of tires and they hit it so spot on. Crandon is all about traction. No joke and sponsorship aside, I could not have asked for a better tire.”
Mechanic Matt Schuette and VanEperen were also a huge help in getting him on track and giving him a competitive edge in what is arguably the most competitive class in the series.
“Matt Schuette was a huge help to me; he really made it happen this weekend,” said Zakowski. “Powersports One and Rodney VanEperen have been beyond helpful. It was a big switch to go to the paddle shifters and he’s been available constantly for questions. He even lent me a radiator on Sunday. Rodney and his crew have been so helpful with this transition.”
Zakowski lives by the Midwest code of hard work equals excellent results. To see that toil pay off big and to reward his father with a podium during Father’s Day weekend made the event even more special.
“The weeks leading up to this race have been an absolute nightmare,” explained Zakowski. “My dad had hip surgery so he was out of commission. It meant a lot to everyone to podium for him on Father’s Day in a new car, a new class, and for the work behind the scenes to come to fruition.”
Zakowski will be back in the Pro Stock class when the series next heads to ERX Motor Park in Elk River, MN. That race is scheduled for July 12-13.
Zac Zakowski 2019 Sponsors: Countryside Auto Transport, Zakowski Motorsports, Johnny Greaves Motorsports, Kenda Tires, Fox Shocks, Straightline Performance, Spider Graphix, Powersports 1, Apex Moto Marketing, Evans Coolant, STM Powersports, DP Brakes, TB Performance, DWT Wheels, HMF Exhaust