Sherwood, WI (7/18/2019) – Countryside Auto Transport's Zac Zakowski continued to gain momentum by scoring a runner-up finish and a fourth place during Lucas Oil Midwest Short Course League event at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, MN. Zakowski is racing a Yamaha YXZ 1000R equipped with Kenda Tires this season in the Pro Stock class.
Zakowski changed literally everything in his program for the 2019 season—including his car and his class—and that’s paying off big time for the Wisconsin native. In Saturday’s race, he scored a close fourth. On Sunday, despite several late cautions, he stuck with eventual winner CJ Greaves to finish second. It marked his second podium in four races.
“It was a pretty crazy race because of all of the cautions,” explained Zakowski. “I settled in behind CJ and was just trying to pick him apart, but he was driving a really clean race. Every time we pulled a gap, a caution would bunch us back up. That last lap was green-white-checkered so everyone was on edge.”
Qualifying and practice have not been Zakowski’s strong suit in the past, a fact he freely admits. That history is changing though, as he qualifyed in the top five both days. He likes being able to start in front.
“I’ve never been particularly good at qualifying so to have the same times as CJ both days and then repeat that during the race is pretty awesome,” said Zakowski. “I usually have to struggle from the back, so it was nice to start up front.”
Zakowski gave a big nod to his tire sponsor Kenda tires. Kenda has gone all-in this season and is attending every race. That trackside support has made a world of difference for Zakowski, and he’s convincing more and more of his fellow competitors switching to Kenda.
“The Yamaha worked excellently with the Kenda tires,” said Zakowski. “Kenda is at every race, they have engineers there helping me, they groove my tires, and it just makes a world of difference. I would run the Kenda Kongur tires anyway, and my tire package is the best out there. They get it dialed in for me and it has been awesome.”
Zakowski’s biggest accomplishment this year may be that he’s having fun racing again. After not living up to his own high standards in 2018, Zakowski made the decision to compete in the Pro Stock class this year. Arguably MWSCL’s toughest class, Zakowski appreciates being able to showcase his driving talent.
“I haven’t had this much fun in several years and I think I’ve found where I should be,” said Zakowski. “It’s been nice to shut up the naysayers. I’ve been a competitive driver the whole time; I just wasn’t in the right machine or the right class. I feel at home now.”
Zakowski next heads to Bark River in Northern Michigan. The closest track to home is also his favorite and it shows. This year, along with a history of success he’s bringing something else to the track: momentum.
“We did well at Crandon, we were leading at ERX and those are honestly my worst tracks, so I’m excited to get to Bark River because that’s my jam,” said Zakowski. “I’ve always done well there and now we’re carrying momentum going into that race. I can’t wait.”
Zakowski will head to Bark River International Raceway for the Rumble in the U.P. August 9-10.
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