Getting the hang of itIn third year of racing, Olheiser proving he’s figured out how to win
Josh Olheiser feels like he finally has this racing thing figured out. If the Southwest Speedway’s Wissota Street Stocks season point standings are any indicator, the 30-year-old Dickinson driver does.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Josh Olheiser feels like he finally has this racing thing figured out.
If the Southwest Speedway’s Wissota Street Stocks season point standings are any indicator, the 30-year-old Dickinson driver does.
Olheiser is coming off his second feature victory of the season during the track’s latest night of racing on July 31, and has a 20-point lead on second-place Ryan Hugelen with a comfortable advantage over the rest of the field.
Still, with three nights of racing remaining on the Speedway’s schedule — including the Season Championship on Aug. 29 — Olheiser isn’t satisfied.
“I’m not comfortable until I’ve got a 36-point lead,” he said, alluding to the 35 points awarded to Street Stocks feature race winners. “Anything can happen if you break in the heat and can’t make the feature. There’s 35 points gone right there.”
Olheiser has the opportunity to increase his lead when racing begins at 7 p.m. today.
And with the way Olheiser has been driving lately, that may not be much of a problem. The only two feature wins of his career came this season, the first on June 20.
According to the speed-tracking Web site mylaps.com, Olheiser has one of the fastest Street Stocks cars at the Speedway.
During the nights of his feature wins, he’s had the top speed and the quickest lap time. He has earned both distinction three times this season and ranks among the top three lap times in every feature race the Southwest Speedway has tracked.
“You can’t go fast unless you trust the car,” Olheiser said. “If you don’t trust the car, you’re not going to go fast.”
Olheiser learned that approach from his pit man Brad Meidinger, a five-time Street Stocks champion at the Speedway.
As Olheiser drives toward a title opportunity, Meidinger hopes he keeps in mind a few words of wisdom he has been able to impart.
“You never race for points,” Meidinger said. “If you win, everything else follows. Finish in the top three — top five is good — just run consistent and don’t break down. That’s what we work on.”
Along with a stronger mental approach to racing, Olheiser says the purchase of a new chassis has also made a difference.
Now in his third year of racing, Olheiser drove the previous two seasons with what he calls a “starter chassis.” When last season ended and Olheiser looked back at his inconsistency, he knew it was time for a change.
But, change didn’t come without a few problems.
“We started the year off with that new car kind of scratching our heads and now we’ve got it pretty fast,” Olheiser said.
Meidinger said the key to Olheiser’s season has been his consistency and the ability to improve, even a little, week-by-week. It’s something Meidinger says comes with the more time Olheiser spends behind the wheel.
“He’s a good driver and he figures out the car, the setup and stuff,” Meidinger said. “It was kind of slow at the beginning of the year. The more we go, the better it gets.”