By Randy Pospishil
NORFOLK, Neb. (Aug. 4) – It’s been a long time between wins for Dusty Poessnecker.
So his excitement was no surprise after his win in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature Saturday at Off Road Speedway.
A family-comes-first decision in 2013, to establish a local business in his hometown of Atkinson, put Poessnecker’s racing career on hold for four years until this season.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” he said. “But I needed to concentrate on my family and the business, a hometown body shop which I bought from my uncle.”
So this rseason, with the business underway and with the help of Dale Bittner of Big Daddy Racing, Poessnecker – who began racing when he was 11 years old – is back on the racetrack.
“I couldn’t have done it without Dale. He put me back in a racecar,” Poessnecker said. “I got back into racing this season in the Hobby Stocks (division), where I’ve had some success over the years, with four or five track titles.”
But after four weeks of racing in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, where he qualified for four features and finished among the top five twice, Poessnecker switched to the SportMods, a first-ever experience which did not produce immediate results.
Since then, during four weeks of competing in the new division, Poessnecker had qualified for just two features before Saturday night’s victory.
“The car wasn’t doing what we wanted it to do, nor was the driver,” he said. “We just needed to get our relationship together, so with the three weeks off here at Off Road, we definitely spent some time visiting, me and the car, and we came to an agreement on how it was going to run.”
Despite starting on the pole, Poessnecker faced a race-long battle among several cars before securing the lead midway through the 20-lap race to finish just ahead of Karl Brewer and Cameron Meyer.
“The car was liking the track, I was liking the track; I kind of liked running the top, and the track was good up there,” Poessnecker said. “Everything was good; everything clicked. We’re definitely going to make notes on what worked, and I think we’ll be right in there in the future.”
“The competition here is outstanding,” he said. “They started 18 cars in the feature, and I would say every one of them has a chance to win.”
Another driver with a ‘big win’ was Gage Koch, who earned his first Off Road Speedway win of the season in the IMCA Hobby Stock feature.
In the Mach-1 Sport Compact feature, Ramsey Meyer extended his season’s undefeated streak at Off Road to nine while TeJay Mielke won the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature.