Poessnecker makes long-awaited return to victory lane
It’s been a long time between wins for Dusty Poessnecker.
So his excitement was no surprise after his win in the IMCA SportMods “A” feature Saturday night at the Off Road Speedway.
A family-comes-first decision back 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 that I bought from my uncle.”
But this racing season, with the business doing well 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 track.
“I couldn’t have done it without Dale — he put me back in a race car,” Poessnecker said. “I got back into racing this season in the Hobby Stocks (division), where I’ve had some success over the years.”
But after four weeks of racing this season in that class, where he qualified for four “A” features and finished among the top five twice, Poessnecker switched to the SportMods — a first-ever experience that did not produce immediate results.
During four weeks of competing in the SportMods car, 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 mid-way through the 20-lap race to finish just ahead of Karl Brewer of Vermillion, S.D., and third-place finisher, Cameron Meyer of Pierce.
“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.”
Another driver with a big win was Norfolk’s Gage Koch, who earned his first Off Road Speedway win of the season in the IMCA Hobby Stocks feature.
Koch took advantage of his starting position on the pole to lead all 15 laps, and held off a late charge by Kaleb Jasperson of Pierce at the finish line. Wyatt Lehman of Norfolk finished third.
The finish in the Late Models feature was also an at-the-wire finish — with all three places reflecting the current points standings in the division — as points leader Zach Zentner of Cedar Rapids edged Plainview’s Jim Johnson at the checkered flag, with Norfolkan Ben Sukup taking third.
In the IMCA Sport Compacts feature, Pierce driver Ramsey Meyer extended his season’s undefeated streak at Off Road Speedway to nine. He finished ahead of Parker Vollbrecht of Stanton and Dylan Kesting of Hoskins, who took second and third, respectively.
TeJay Mielke won the IMCA Stock Cars feature, while Tiffany Bittner of Hampton finished second and Shawn Primrose took third place. Mielke and Primrose are both Norfolk drivers.
Six nights of racing remain at Off Road Speedway, including a regular slate of racing on August 11, and the return of the 360 Sprint Cars scheduled for Saturday, August 18.