For most young men, college is a time to quit playing with race cars, and start doing real work.
For Logan Wyse, Archbold, playing with race cars is the work.
Wyse is a student at the University of Northwestern Ohio, Lima, where he is enrolled in the high performance motor sports program. UNOH teaches a wide variety of topics, from high-performance engines and engine building to chassis and suspension fabrication.
The program also has race teams, which runs three cars on a quarter-mile, high-banked dirt oval track in Lima.
“You sign up to be on the teams in November. You fill out an application and do an interview. After the interview, there are driver tryouts. You get five laps, and they analyze how you drive.”
A 2006 Archbold High School graduate, Wyse is the son of Patrick and Carleen, Archbold. He started racing karts in Archbold when he was 13, so he had an advantage in driving.
After drivers are selected, they remain with the car all season long. With the season wrapped up, Wyse reports his best finish was a fourth, and he was 13th in season points. He was also named Rookie of the Year at the Lima track.
The class in which he races is called “Thunderstock.” Internal engine modifications are unlimited, but the track keeps the power under control by requiring racers to use one two-barrel carburetor and a stock-appearing intake manifold. This is akin to asking a long distance runner to breathe through a soda straw.
The front portion of the frame must be stock, but from there on, Wyse said the UNOH students hand-build the cars.
For Wyse, the biggest transition was moving from karts, which are six feet long with six horsepower, to a car 15 feet long, with 500 horsepower.
The driving style “is a little different,” he said.
When asked why he enjoys racing, Wyse said, “I like it because racing involves so many skills.
“It’s not just driving skills, but math, science, fabrication, engineering, machining, and so many others that have to come together to make a race car get around the track.”
Wyse said he eventually hopes to be on a racing team, then take the experience and develop it into something else.
He doesn’t see himself going on to be a professional driver, but wants to continue racing.
“I’d like to have one of these (Thunderstock cars) of my own- something fun to play around with,” he said.
Wyse said before he takes to the track before a race, he gets nervous; but once the race is underway, the nerves are left behind.
There are some lessons that transferred from karts to the dirt car.
“The biggest lesson John (Huffman, veteran Archbold kart racer) taught me is to make sure to watch everyone else. That’s really paid off.”