With his victory, Tyler, the “Polish Prince,” made history, becoming the youngest driver ever to win a NASCAR-sanctioned race at Monadnock. Tyler is in the Thunderstock racing division, which has no age limit, and he often competes with 25-year veterans often more than three times his age. Tyler now sits in fifth place in points for the season, and with four races left, Janovsky said his latest accomplishment only makes him “more hungry.”
At 13, Tyler can’t even get a Vermont learner’s permit for two years, but he spends every other weekend reaching speeds of 85 mph on a quarter-mile circle. “Driving is the best part,” said Tyler. “It was surprising to win, but it was great.”
The Polish Prince’s car is black with an orange interior and dons the stickers of 15 local sponsors, from Wayne Corse Excavating, to Briggs Automotive, and Grandma and Grampa Birch. Taking its place above his sponsors is his first-ever victory sticker, along with a trophy that sits high on a shelf in the family garage. But Tyler’s race to the top started with a motorless chassis that his father, Stanley Janovsky Jr., traded for a tractor. Over time, and with the help of family and friends, the Janovsky men were able to bring the car up to working order, with Dave Briggs, of Briggs Automotive, letting the car sit on one of his lifts for two months as he built Tyler’s car a motor.
It has taken trial and error and a lot of fine tuning for Tyler Janovsky’s car to become a winner, but racing it was only a matter of time as racing is in the Janovsky blood. Tyler’s grandfather, Stanley Janovsky Sr., used to race in the 1960s on the dirt track of Twin State Raceway.
“I asked Tyler’s mother what she thought about Tyler racing,” said Janovsky Jr. “I don’t think she believed how serious we were at the time, and she said ‘maybe.’ That was a yes to me.”
In his first year, Tyler came in fourth, racing in the young gun class at Claremont as a 12-year-old. Tyler goes to Twin Valley Middle School and also plays baseball, but his high-speed summer hobby is unlike that of any of his classmates. While his hobby can be expensive, Janovskky Jr. says the whole family loves to go see him tear up the asphalt.
“Fuel alone can reach $300,” said his father. “But honestly it doesn’t cost much more than buying a new snowmobile and going out with the family. When you have the family and the friends that we have that help fix it when things happen, it makes it easier.”
Tyler Janovsky, the Polish Prince, currently sits in fifth place, but has his sights set on fourth place with this weekend’s race, a mere 20 points away.