By MIKE MALLETT
It’s time to come home.
Mike Kolka and his No. 25 is set to return to the world of big-block racing for the 2023 season at the Orange County Fair Speedway. The 44-year-old driver spent the last handful of seasons running an open small-block traveling to tracks across the Northeast. This year, he’s ready to come home.
“I definitely plan on doing the six races in Middletown,” said Kolka. “I’m going to do the Super DIRTcar Series race at Bridgeport. We’re also doing the Albany-Saratoga Super DIRTcar Series and Bridgeport Super DIRTcar Series. I want to do Port Royal at the end of the season but I think that’s going to be up in the air, depending on what happens.” .
He’s got all new equipment ready for the 2023 campaign as he has a brand new Bicknell sitting in the shop while he awaits the completion of the new Precision big-block powerplant. He wanted to hit a couple other early season shows, but those are on hold as he wants to make his debut once he’s fully ready to go. He’ll make his debut when the OCFS kicks-off in early April with the Short Track Super Series with a schedule that includes roughly 18 dates.
“I’m just gonna wait until we are ready, but we’re going back to big-block racing” said Kolka, “We got a brand new motor being built that is supposed to be ready this week. That means we are still another week or two out for everything to get done. I’m just going to take my time putting it together and wait for the Hard Clay Open. So we’ll have to go back to the Hard Clay open. We’ll be at every other show at Middletown for the big-blocks and hope to hit a few more, but we’ll see how things pan out.”
Kolka is also starting to put his end of season plans together as he’ll return to Eastern States Weekend with a first-ever trip to Oswego Speedway for Super DIRT Week in the works. He went last year with fellow racer Mark Shupp and knows he has to return with his race-car.
“I’m definitely doing Oswego,” he said. “I went there last year just to watch. What a racetrack. I know people say this and that about that place, but if you know what you’re doing, that’s a good race track. I can’t wait to try it.”
Although he’s not coming out of the gate until April, that doesn’t mean he won’t be at the track prior to that as he has plans to help out his step-son Brett Weslowski in the Sportsman ranks. Brett will join Kolka for weekly action at Middletown while also getting out on the road.
“We’re going to bring the kid down to Bridgeport,” said Kolka. “We’re gonna get him out on the road a little bit this year. It would be tough for us to do that with two cars so we are going to focus on him for that race and let him have some fun.”
The team has great partners for the 2023 season, but as always are looking for more.
“MJK Home Maintenance which is my wife and I as well as Sunglass Central, Pecorinos Pizzeria & Restaurant, Acorn Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, Valley View Landscaping, Jordan Sheehan Media Productions and the The Beer King support us,” said Kolka. “If any else would like to get on board we’d love to have them.”
It’s going to be an exciting 2023 for Kolka and company as he gets a chance once again to come.