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“We converted it to a Sport Compact. Paul Burger at B & B Chassis put the roll cage in and we figured we’d just race it at Arlington,” said Dostal. “We started building the second car after my first season.” Encouraged by early success, the Glencoe, Minn., pilot targeted the national prize in mid-summer. He scored 25 feature wins in making that goal become reality. GLENCOE, Minn. – Alex Dostal has had a thing for speed ever since he crashed a three-wheeler into the front door of the house at the age of five or six. “Short tracks started to grow on me,” Dostal said. “I think they help you become a better driver because you have to learn to make decisions more quickly.” He counted a dozen wins at Princeton, seven at Arlington and three each at Redwood and at North Central Speedway. “Everything just panned out,” explained Dostal, a first-time national king after finishing fourth each of the two previous years. “I wasn’t planning on racing a Sport Compact but decided to when Princeton Speedway opened. We got three or four wins and I told my dad we were going to see how far we can take it.” His final win of the season came at Arlington Raceway’s Sept. 28 Scott Schoknecht Shootout. Starts 49 Wins 25 Additional Top Five’s 19 “We do have a Stock Car in the garage now but I’m not 100 percent sure on what we’re going to do next year,” he said. “We’re still enjoying what we did this year.” “Racing with the tough competition we have around here has helped me astronomically,” said Dostal, who also earned a third consecutive E3 Spark Plugs Minnesota State crown along with Arlington, Princeton and Redwood Speedway track titles. While the feature wins and championships were great, Dostal said the highlight of his season came when a young fan at Arlington presented him with a picture they’d drawn of his car, which has since been framed and put on display in his shop. The decision to race a Sport Compact, of course, came long after his escapades on three wheels. Dostal helped his father Richard with his truck and tractor pulling, later building an auto cross car to race on a small dirt track complete with jumps and tight corners. HIS CREW: Father Richard, cousin Kayla Dostal, uncle ‘Fast’ Eddie Dostal and girlfriend Margret Rossing. Dostal showed a knack for getting his wins in bunches, carrying streaks of five straight checkers into early August and later to mid-September. His ability to go fast paid off this season with the Mach-1 Sport Compact national championship. Alex Dostal raced to 25 feature wins and the IMCA Mach-1 Sport Compact national championship this season. He is pictured with Speedway Motors President Clay Smith at left and IMCA President Brett Root at right. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography) “I had high hopes we could get it about 15 wins in,” he continued. “We had the national championship in our sights in late July.” HIS SPONSORS: Pro RPM Performance, My Own Body Shop, Matt Gruber Repair and Go For It Gas, all of Glencoe. read more
Off to its best start in three years, the Wisconsin women’s basketball team (3-0) will try to keep the early season momentum rolling as they travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide (0-3). This is the Badgers’ first power conference opponent, after beating down on three mid-major squads to kick off the season.UW looks forward to the chance to show the country they are for real this season by winning on the road against an improved yet struggling Alabama team. The Tide dropped the season opener at Chattanooga 82-70, a game in which Alabama struggled in the first half. The past two contests for the Tide have been against ranked opponents as well as on the road, with No. 12 Nebraska handing them a 62-48 loss and No. 2 Duke steamrolling them 92-57.Unlike other teams Wisconsin has faced in the young season, Alabama’s roster is bigger, consisting of nine players standing taller than 6 feet. UW still holds the advantage in that department with 10 players 6 feet or taller, but it is something the Badgers have not seen this season.Sophomore forward Nikki Hegstetter, who stands at 6-foot-2, got off to a strong start on the season by tallying a career-high 16 points against Chattanooga and has hit over half her attempts from the field. This can potentially create problems down low for UW’s 6-foot-3 junior Michala Johnson. Thus far, Johnson has been exemplary in the early going, averaging 16.3 points per game and 10 rebounds per outing. However, she will likely have to play a tougher role on the boards and will play defensively against a more formidable front court than she has seen so far.“I’m just going to keep doing the things I’ve been doing,” Johnson said. “Defensively, I’m going to try to take the strong side away from them and offense just comes, so eventually I’ll score.”Defense has been an aspect of the game preached day-in and day-out by head coach Bobbie Kelsey, and it is now rubbing off on the players. The Badgers have been taut on defense throughout the first three games, only allowing their opponents to shoot 31 percent from the field. They have also outscored their opponents by an impressive margin of 23 points by an average score of 74-51. Alabama has shot the ball well this season (39.5 percent), but its margin of points allowed to points scored per game is minus-20.“We have to get back on defense,” junior forward Jackie Gulczynski said. “They love to run, and transition defense is going to be huge for us. And, as always, we have to knock down open shots.”Gulczynski hit plenty of open shots during the last game against Northern Iowa, her coming-out party this season. She scored a team-high 15 points, including a trio of three-pointers, pulling down nine rebounds.Another facet of the game Kelsey drills into her players is boxing out. Wisconsin has out-rebounded other teams by more than 10 boards a contest this season, while Alabama loses the rebound battle by 10. In practice, Kelsey threatens giving up offensive rebounds with wind sprints. It is simply something her or the rest of the staff will not tolerate.While the Badgers have played their first road game of the 2013-2014 season, an 88-65 victory over UW-Milwaukee, the trip required little travel. Wisconsin will have to fly to Tuscaloosa for the first major road trip. It will be no big deal for the seasoned veterans, but it may be a somewhat unnerving experience for players not as experienced.“We love going on the road,” Gulcynski said. “We have to remember we’re there to take care of business. Alabama is a great team, and we have to follow our game plan.”“We can’t play every game in the Kohl Center,” Kelsey said. “You have to be able to steal some on the road and protect your home when you’re there.”Now in her third year as head coach, Kelsey and her staff have a strong inside presence, a potentially sharp shooting game, and the tenacity to play tough defense. The Badgers are off to a strong start, and look to take down their first formidable opponent of the year during the Crimson Tide’s season opener.“To us, we’re always just 0-0 because it’s a new game, it’s a new team, it’s a new challenge, it’s a new set of people that you have to figure out how to stop their best players,” Kelsey said. “We pride ourselves on that and if we don’t do that, we get lost in the shuffle. And every team I’ve been a part of, the good ones, you focus on that team and what you have to do with that team.” read more