Ohio’s O’Patik tops Clash on the Coast IMCA Modified feature at Milton

Mitchell O’Patik led start to finish of the Friesen Performance Modified main, in Thursday’s Clash on the Coast show at Southern Raceway. (Photo by Byron Fichter)

MILTON, Fla. (Feb. 29, 2024) – Mitchell O’Patik and Dallon Murty both talked about luck during their post-race interviews Thursday night at Southern Raceway.

Truth is that both made their own luck on night three of the IMCA Clash on the Coast.

O’Patik led the distance of the Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature at Milton, outrunning hometown speedster Joseph Joiner for the $1,000 win and earning Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility.

“I had a good feeling on the night. I drew 11, went out for my heat race and saw there were some heavy hitters in the back,” he said. “I was like ‘Man, it’s pretty stacked, I’d better go,’ and I did that.”

A Colorado native and Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod winner early in his racing career there, O’Patik attended college in Ohio and now works for Meyer Shank Racing in Pataskala.

His Thursday start was just his third in a 2020 Rage Chassis. The win came just a car length ahead of Joiner, with Shane Stephens, Joel Rust and Jadin Fuller completing the top five. Points leader Jeff Larson was 12th.

“It feels good,” said O’Patik. “I was just the lucky one who got to hold the steering wheel.”

Chelsea, Iowa, charger Murty, meanwhile, motored from seventh in winning the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature ahead of teammate Dylan Thornton … driving Dallon’s father Damon’s regular ride … for a $1,000 payday of his own.

John Oliver Jr. led past midway of the Stock Car main before getting together with challenger Jim Horejsi. Thornton inherited the point but saw teammate Murty drive by just two laps later.

“It felt really good. I think I’ve had a good car all week,” said Murty, already B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational qualifying eligible and now the Clash on the Coast points leader as well. “I was lucky the leaders got together. I got lucky with that. It might have been Jim’s race to win.”

Andy Morris, Presley Harrington and Haydan Hartwick completed the top five. Gage Neal, winner of both features at Northwest Florida Speedway, took sixth. 

Both divisions return to Milton for the Clash on the Coast finale, broadcast by IMCA.TV, now Saturday night, March 2 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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