LIMA - On a night when the University of Northwestern Ohio High Performance Motorsports team broke in two new stock car drivers, the two stock drivers who remained on the roster from previous weeks came up with a pair of strong showings Friday at Limaland Motorsports Park.
Dwight Niehoff finished fifth driving the 00 car, nipping teammate Shane Wolf late in the race; Wolf finished sixth. It was the fourth top-7 finish for Niehoff, who entered the night fourth in Limaland points, in the season's first four races.
"The car drove probably the best it's been all year. I can't say enough about my crew for how good it is," Niehoff said.
For Wolf, it was his best finish of the season, topping a ninth-place showing in the season's second race.
"We could do quite a bit of little fine-tuning to make the thing perfect, but it's definitely progressing," Wolf said.
The UNOH modified team continued its strong run as Kody Weisner finished fifth in the K&N UMP Modified feature, his third straight top-5 finish. Ryan O'Dette managed to clear some major wreckage and improved upon his 19th-place starting spot with a finish in 12th.
Follow this link to view a photo gallery from Friday night.
It took some work for the UNOH student crew to get Wolf's No. 2 ride onto the track for the feature. A mishap earlier in the night affected the steering box on the car, and the students worked overtime on the car for it to make the last call for the feature.
"We were having some internal engine problems and it was getting hot, so under caution I was trying to free rev it as much as I could to keep the temperature down," Wolf said. "The boys worked their butts off and we got it out there."
Wolf started the 15-lap feature on the inside of row four, but he quickly worked his way up to fourth place. He held the position until dropping one spot with five laps to go. Wolf got a little high coming out of turn four on the final lap and Niehoff was there to pick up the extra spot.
"I was just picking away spots, following other cars up there," Niehoff said. "It made me race even harder when I saw that 2 car, a little bit of friendly competition."
It was the first night behind the wheel for UNOH students Joel Ortberg and Austin Frankart. After finishing sixth in his heat race, Ortberg took a ninth-place finish in his first feature race while Frankart was 11th.
Weisner finished second in his modified heat, starting with a low line before taking to the high side when he went to second place on the third lap. In the feature, Weisner dropped to seventh before moving up to fifth when a caution flew on the ninth lap. He held steady through 11 more laps and another caution.
O'Dette had to navigate a five-car pile-up on the second lap, narrowly dipping low in turn two to avoid the carnage.
Weisner and Niehoff will represent the university Saturday, May 19, at Eldora Speedway. The full UNOH team is back in action Friday at Limaland.