LIMA - As the weeks have passed, Ryan O'Dette has felt increasingly comfortable behind the wheel of the 01 modified for the University of Northwestern Ohio High Performance Motorsports team. Unfortunately, the results haven't shown in finishes on the track.
Friday night at Limaland Motorsports Park, though, O'Dette ran to his best finish this season, coming home seventh in the K&N UMP Modified feature. His previous best finish was eighth in the season-opening race.
"The crew worked hard on the car and I knew I had to put in a top-10 for them," O'Dette said. "I went in there thinking I had to be in the top-10 tonight. I'm sick of finishing in the back of the pack. I went out I knew I had to do better for my crew. It's been five weeks now in the car and I'm getting better every week."
To view a photo gallery of the night at Limaland, follow this link.
O'Dette had to avoid some early wreckage which unfortunately claimed teammate Kody Weisner and the 00 car. Coming out of turn two on the first lap, seven cars piled up along the back stretch wall, and Weisner was in the wrong place at the wrong time, ending his night. It was his first "did not finish" of the season.
"I was watching everybody stack up in front of me and I looked up to see everyone in the wall, so of course, just like last week, it was instinct to turn down away from it," O'Dette said. "Thankfully I missed it."
On the complete restart, O'Dette took the outside position on the sixth row. By a caution on the sixth lap, he had worked up to tenth. He made up the final spots on the last five laps of the feature.
The 00 stock car had bad luck in the Bud Thunderstocks feature as well, but this time the failure was mechanical and not a wreck. On the third lap, Dwight Niehoff felt the cylinders shutting down one after another and the speed steadily decreasing, so he moved to the infield for an early exit.
It left Shane Wolf, who started on the outside of the second row after finishing second in his heat, Joel Ortberg, who was third in that same heat, and Austin Frankart to carry the UNOH flag. Wolf finished seventh, his second straight top-10 finish, while Ortberg came in ninth for the second straight week. Frankart took 12th place.
The Motorsports team is back in action next Friday at Limaland.