BARROWS — Driving his #18 IMCA stock car, Alex Dostal led all 20 laps of the race and earned his first career win in the stock car on Saturday, May 15 at North Central Speedway.
Dostal and runner-up Kris Peterson competed side by side until the final corner when Dostal took the lead for the win.
Super Stock legend Shane Sabraski made his comeback after several years and gave fans a taste of his racing greatness. Sabraski finished behind Dexton Koch in the second qualifying race and earned a place on the inside fourth row after the re-draw.
Andrew Johnson and Jesse Smolik started in the front row in the 16-car event. Johnson led for the first four laps before Sabraski passed him with a pass into the second corner of lap five. Sabraski widened the gap and comfortably took the checkered flag ahead of Dexton Koch and Johnson.
At the height of his driving at North Central Speedway, Sabraski often raced in three classes, Midwest Mods (now Northern Sport Mods), Super Stocks and Modified and it was not uncommon for him to win all three races background in the same night.
Last week’s winner, Dylan Nelson, finished fourth. Now entering his sixth season in the Super Stock Car, he has been driving cars since he was 13 years old. His father and grandfather both raced on dirt and after starting in karting at age 5, Nelson and his father decided it was time to move on to Pure. Stock and Race at North Central Speedway
“My dad raced track just like my granddad, so it was his decision,” Nelson said. “He was paying for it by working two jobs. I was just driving and was happy with everything we were doing.
“My dad’s rule was ‘If I’m going to work on it, you have to at least be here to watch and learn and be a part of it, or we’re not going to race.'”
Nelson waved the checkered flag a few times during his race in a Pure Stock and it wouldn’t have been a shock for him to move up to another class, but as a small family business something else has motivated this decision.
“We never really thought about it until the end of the year (in 2016), that was how things worked,” Nelson said. “With Pure Stock we put a high sell price on it not thinking it would sell and then someone bought it so we thought it was time to step up a gear.”
After becoming familiar with the car and the class in the first two years, Nelson’s racing career soared. He won the 2109 championship with three wins and 12 top-five finishes in 17 features. In 2020 he placed third behind Austin Niemeyer, but picked up two wins and finished nine top 10 finishes in 10 races.
Last year, he and Dustin Nelson fought all season. In the end, only five points separated them. Dustin Nelson won the track championship, but Dylan led the class with five wins and had 12 top-five finishes in 14 races.
Nelson and his father review the finances after each season and are clear about the goals for the following season.
“Usually in the off season you spend a lot of money and then in the summer you’re just looking to break even or earn a bit, but with fuel and tire prices we’re just happy if we break even. break-even point,” Nelson mentioned. “We love doing it and that’s all my dad and I have known.”
Nelson would appreciate the opportunity to ride in multiple classes, but is happy with his career. Budget permitting, he hopes to increase his driving time in 2022.
“To be honest, I wouldn’t be able to afford one, so if a race came up with someone I would drive, but I’m happy with just one car,” he said. “We’re usually one night and then we go to a second night if we feel like it. This year we’ll try to do two nights every weekend if we can and then possibly add a third night. Now it’s harder to travel with gas prices, but we’re having fun with it.”
Along with Sabraski and Dostal, the other feature winners were Devin Fouquette, Justin Jones, Skyler Smith, Brandon Bombardo and Nathan Kohl.
Saturday, May 21 will be the second annual Ron Johnson Memorial and the race will start an hour early at 5:45 p.m. Pits will open at 3 p.m. and doors will open at 4 p.m.