Test day at Greenville Pickens Speedway on March 10th with help from 3 UNOH students
The Grimm Racing Team and three students from the University of Northwestern Ohio met at the legendary Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina for a day of testing Eddie MacDonald’s car for the K&N Pro Series East season opener at the track on March 26. The scheduled one testing day turned into two when weather forced the team’s return to the half mile oval on Friday March 10.

After an eight hour ride from the University’s campus in Lima, Ohio, Cody Bland from Bloomington, Indiana, Kody Weisner from Muskegon, Michigan, and Kevin Hollenbach from Hillsborough, New Jersey met the Grimm team in Greenville. Last year two of the students worked with the team during the UNOH sponsored event for the K&N series and the Whelen Modifieds at Martinsville.

UNOH’s College of Technologies offers training in its High Performance Motor Sports Department both in the classroom and in the field. President Jeff Jarvis said in an interview last year on the university’s involvement in placing students with race teams, “It’s great for the students because they get hands on experience sitting beside the professional. It is sort of an apprentice type situation that helps them further their career when they move on to get a job as a pit crew member, driver, owner, or whatever their passion may be.”

Team owner Rob Grimm was pleased to continue the association with UNOH saying, ”When we first met with Vice President Steve Farmer to discuss sponsorship our first goal was to stress the importance of using this as a learning experience for the students. We established a commitment to give students the opportunity to work on the car in a professional situation. I could not have been happier with the professional, enthusiasm, and work ethic these students provided that day. I was very pleased we were able to do this again at Greenville. I was not there but I heard reports from Rollie, Eddie, and the crew that the three students were outstanding. We at Grimm Racing are committed to offering young men and women the opportunity to work with us. UNOH excels at preparing students and we hope to continue our relationship with them.”

Even the best plans change rapidly when forces beyond control interrupt the best of them. Shortly after arriving after a long day driving in torrential rain, the “new” team traveled in the hauler for a late night dinner. An air brake failure forced the crew into immediate roadside repairs and it proved to be crew chief’s Rollie LaChance first opportunity to see the UNOH training spring into action. “I was very impressed at the way Cody, Kody, and Kevin joined in to help. It was truly a thing that racer’s do. Instead of throwing up your hands in frustration, these guys just said ‘what do we need to do to get this fixed so we can get to the track?’ That is how racers perform under the most adverse circumstances and I was pleased to see that. It really meant a lot. Another thing that really impressed me was the maturity and professionalism displayed both on and off the track. Sometimes it is easy for young guys to act up when away from their normal environment but these three knew they represented UNOH and Grimm Racing and they did it fabulously. We lost most of the first day to a wet track and decided to stay an extra day to test on Friday. All three jumped at the opportunity to do it all over again the next day and their performance both days was outstanding. I hope we get the chance to work with them again or any other students from UNOH.”

Of course, the driver behind the wheel gets to see what is going on when the car is in the pits and Eddie MacDonald was quick to observe, “I was so pleased with the effort and ability all three guys showed in the pits. Kody, Kevin, and Cody were so well prepared they knew exactly what to do and didn’t need much instruction to get things done. They also had the ability to see what needed to be done next and just did it. The fact that they were willing to stay the extra day really impressed me. These guys just love racing and it showed. I know they will end up with successful careers in whatever form of racing they choose. They did a remarkable job for us and they are a credit to UNOH. I congratulate Jeff Jarvis and Steve Farmer and their faculty for all their hard work. Grimm Racing is here to tell you that it works.”

The K&N Pro Series East opens its twelve race program at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina on March 26.

For more about the university go to UNOH.edu.  Specifically the Motorsports College Web.
Photos by Richard Casey

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