Olmstead proves up to challenge in quest for Northern SportMod rookie of the year

Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod national rookie of the year and Lexington Raceway track champion Jacob Olmstead. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Olmstead)

OVERTON, Neb. – Jacob Olmstead proved up to the challenge in a second IMCA division this season.

Olmstead earned national Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod rookie of the year honors, winning 10 of his 43 starts and the track title at Lexington Raceway.

“We started strong, won a feature, wrecked a car and had some bad luck,” the Overton, Neb., driver summarized. “I got to run with guys I grew up watching and kept racing hard locally as many nights as we could.”

Third in national point standings for the Hobby Stocks in 2015 – the year his brother Zach was the top rookie in that class – Olmstead ran an abbreviated 2016 season before selling his car and crewing full-time.

“I wanted something different. I wanted a new challenge, so I bought the car that Tyler Frye had driven to the national championship and ran that a couple times after the point season,” he ex­plained. “Our goal in 2017 was to run for national rookie. I wanted to get some seat time and experi­ence so I could look halfway like I knew what I was doing.”

Career win number one in the class came in his seventh start, at Boone County Raceway on May 5.

“I told my dad my goal this season was to win one feature. It has always been my dream to win a SportMod feature,” Olmstead said. “I was watching the laps count down and thinking Just throw the checkers! I was speechless for hours after I won. It was a pretty crazy night.”

Olmstead had that car figured out before a late June wreck, also at Albion. He bought another BMS car, which had sat outside for four years, for the frame, swapped parts and promptly won three straight starts.

His 10th and final win of the season came on Aug. 20 … two days before he and wife Jenna celebrated the birth of their first child, son Owen.

Starts-43                        Wins-10                          Additional Top Fives-13

HIS CREW: Wife Jenna, parents Troy and Gina, brothers Zach and Morgan, sister Mallory, Kellin Myers, Trevor Myers, the Frye family and the Murray family.

HIS SPONSORS: South Central Feeders and Harmon Motorsports, both of Arapahoe; Bruner Frank Attorneys at Law of Kearney; the Myers family of Axtell; Weinman Farms of Arnold; EQ Cylinder Heads of Las Vegas, Nev.; BSB Manufacturing of Wellington, Kan.; Tin Man Bodies of Belleville, Kan.; and Ultimate Machine of Phillipsburg, Kan.