For young Kody Weisner nothing comes quite as naturally as strapping in behind the wheel of a racecar. The third-generation driver who calls Muskegon, Michigan home has been around the dirt tracks for as long as he can remember, “It’s just one of those things where it’s in the blood”.
Kody’s grandfather Paul Weisner Sr. was an old-time standout at tracks like the famed Whiskey Ridge, and Kody is not one to overlook his family’s rich history in the sport, “It’s so cool looking back at things that show all the accomplishments my grandpa had, and getting help from my great-uncle Wayne who has been a huge supporter and very instrumental in me educating myself on all the elements of racing.”
Currently working towards his Associates in Science with an emphasis on High Performance Motorsports at the University of Northwestern Ohio, Kody has definitely taken an interest in preparing himself for whatever the future may hold. The young driver proved himself a formidable opponent at the age of 10 in go karts and progressed into a stock car at tracks such as Winston and Thunderbird before coming to UNOH in the fall of 2009.
Kody was already well respected as a Sportsman competitor in his own HS Die #16 machine when he enrolled at UNOH, but the college that owns Limaland Raceway Park and a three-car Stock Car and quad-team Modified operation opened even more possibilities for the young driver. This past Memorial Day weekend Kody was given a ride for the night behind the wheel of the #1 Thunderstock. Weisner quickly capitalized on the opportunity capturing the first Thunderstock A-Main in the college’s history. For Kody the evening was exciting on many levels, “Winning the race was cool, but the coolest thing about that night was looking across the track and seeing 30 guys in orange shirts running across whooping and hollering. There is just so much support here”.
UNOH has an excellent program for High Performance and as Kody said with a smile, “The experiences I have gotten here at UNOH I wouldn’t trade for anything, but we work really hard to keep those opportunities, attending class from 7:30am until Noon and then spending 25-30 hours a week in the shop. The equipment we work with is the best of the best, so the pressure is on us to perform”
When filling the role of the driver the ante is upped, “You have 30 guys looking to you to win with what they spent all week putting together. The pressure is intense especially in those moments where you get in the wall and it is all your fault, you’re feeling bad and then seeing everyone’s head down low is hard” Although often difficult, it’s the team intensity that the students at UNOH thrive on. Each of the 30 team members uses the pressures as a way to hone their skills and be prepared for the career ahead of them. Kody is no exception, “It’s been a learning curve that was more difficult than I thought. Especially adjusting to the tracks, Michigan tracks are dry-slick where down here in Ohio the clay content is totally different. The hardest part has been switching cars. I ran 5 different cars at different tracks in one weeks time with only 3 hot-laps to adjust to each. But this is definitely the opportunity of a lifetime and there is no way that I could get the experience and the backing that I do without the school”.
With a few starts in one of the UNOH house Modifieds to his credit already, Kody is looking towards 2011 with determination and passion, “I just would like to keep doing what I’m doing, be smooth, learn from the opportunities I get and hopefully get a ride for Speedweeks in February and maybe a full-time ride in the UNOH Modified next summer”.
Kody definitely has a future full of possibilities, ultimately the Reeths-Puffer High grad would like to find a ride behind the wheel of a race car, but if that doesn’t happen he would like to make a career on a race team in some capacity. As part of the Thunderstock team Weisner has honed his skills outside of the cockpit and last summer he was chosen to be part of Mario Gossilin’s #12 Camping World Truck Team adding another high mark to his ever growing résumé.
When he’s away from the classroom or the shop Kody enjoys hanging out with his friends and just being a typical teenager, but those moments are rare which is just fine with Weisner, “Racing is a full time deal…If you’re going to do it you have to be committed to it!”
To learn more about Kody and the rest of the UNOH team members you can watch them every Sunday at 11:30am on Motorsports U featured on FoxSports. Past episodes can be found on the web at http://www.masterstv.com/MotorsportsUtv.html and you check out Kody’s May 28th win by clicking on the 11/7/2010 episode.