Zach Omdahl Learning the Ropes in NOSA Sprints
Zach Omdahl describes himself as an “adrenaline junkie.”
That might be the best explanation for the 32-year-old hopping behind the wheel of a Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Car in 2020.
“I pretty much jumped right into it,” Omdahl said. “There’s something about racing — just the adrenaline and the blood pumping.”
Omdahl, from East Grand Forks, is in his second year behind the wheel of the #17 sprint car that he races weekly at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, which hosts the World of Outlaw Sprint Cars on Friday.
Zach bought the car from his cousin, Nick Omdahl, who is the 2019 Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Car champion. His best career finish is fifth, which came at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan on July 31, 2020.
Omdahl, who works as a lineman for Minn-Kota Power, admits there’s been a steep learning curve as he adjusts to driving a sprint car.
“It’s definitely intimidating,” Omdahl said. “When the track is super heavy, I feel really comfortable. When it slicks off, I struggle. Basically I’m trying to get laps in and get some seat time.”
He’s receiving some help from Chris Shirek, who has 15 career NOSA victories and was a three-time series champion.
“He’s helped a few times year and it’s been making a difference. He’s showing us what kind of changes to make as the track changes,” Omdahl said. “The car is really fast. I’ve just got to learn to drive now.”
Seat time also means learning how to maneuver on dry slick tracks.
“Driving on a dry slick track with heavy tacky spots — it’s just really hard,” Omdahl said. “It’s something I’ve never experienced. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
This year, his best finish is ninth at Park Jefferson on May 29.
Omdahl is realistic about his goals for 2021 as he tackles the challenge of driving a sprint car. One goal he’s already accomplished is to get a heat race win, which he did opening night at River Cities. He also said another goal is a top 10 finish in NOSA points.
“Pretty much stay out of everybody’s way, get some seat time and get better,” Omdahl said of his 2021 goals. “When I’m a little more confident, then push a little bit harder.”
Buffalo Wild Wings NOSA Sprint Car #17
Residence: East Grand Forks, N.D.
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