LIMA - University of Northwestern Ohio High Performance Motorsports coach Paul Higgins jokingly says it's taken lots of bent parts, plenty of broken pieces and some conversations, but the end result for the UNOH modified team and driver Kody Weisner is yet another impressive night at Limaland Motorsports Park.
Weisner, a third-year driver for the team, started the feature in 11th position Friday and managed to navigate the traffic for a strong fourth-place finish in the K&N UMP Modified feature race. It followed a second-place showing the last time out, giving Weisner a nice head of steam early in the season.
"Before I went out I was talking with Higgins and the other coaches and he said, ‘Your biggest thing is you're just going to need to be patient,'" Weisner said. "The more I look back, I've kind of outgrown my aggression, I guess you could say, just by seeing some of the letdowns. It's heartbreaking coming and seeing the crew. … Two years ago, when I cleared Terry (Hull) and saw (Cory) Seeling, I probably wouldn't have lifted and did a slide job on Seeling and we all would have wrecked. It's a good thing it wasn't two years ago."
Weisner moved to 10th just two laps into the feature and found his way to a top-6 running midway through the 20-lap feature. He had closed to third place, but veteran track champion Terry Hull pulled back ahead of Weisner late in the race.
Fellow UNOH driver Ryan O'Dette continued his education on the track, finishing in 16th but staying clean and running all 20 laps.
You can view a photo gallery of the night at Limaland by following this link.
ARCA Series champion and current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ty Dillon made his first try at Limaland, running for UNOH. Dillon easily won his heat race and came in seventh in the feature.
Weisner admitted finishing higher than someone the caliber of Dillon and the Team Dillon Racing outfit was something for him and his crew to be proud about.
"(My car) is so consistent. Anything we do to it helps it exactly how we need it," Weisner said. "We're right where we need to be. Everything will fall into place. I know we'll get some wins if we keep up what we're doing. We're right there. You can almost reach out and touch it. It's like someone is hanging it on a string right in front of us."
UNOH driver Dwight Niehoff had a similar run to Weisner in the Bud Thunderstocks feature. Niehoff started the race in the fourth spot, but he dropped to the tail of the field when he stopped for repairs on the track during a caution. However, the first-year driver maneuvered his way through the field and wound up with a seventh-place finish.
Teammates Brent Weaver finished 11th, Shane Wolf was 12th, and Brad Kemp was 15th.
"It's been phenomenal, just giving us these three weeks to work together," Niehoff said. "I listen to my coaches, I listen to Kody Weisner, and I just watch how you get around this track. It's not like what I race back home, the car is different from what I normally run, so I have plenty left to learn, but we're getting there."