Winning Ways- Alan Vochaska
by Torri Godsey
When watching haulers come into the pits on any given race night, there are some drivers that you know are going to kick some butt. For Michigan fans that guy is and has been Alan Vochaska. The pilot of the 34 warrior and mastersbilt late model has been eating up competitors since the first year he hit dirt.
Dirt is not where the Vochaska family started. Back in the early 60s Grandpa Ron dragged raced against the likes of Joe Amato. Then father Vern in the 80s built and owned cars. By age ten Alan began to crew for Randy Sweet. Six years later the youngest Vochaska climbed into a pavement car. By 2001 the team won the Late Model Sportsmen Division Championship on payment.
Looking for more excitement the team jumped into the dirt in 2003. With a huge learning curve, Vochaska won a mind blowing 13 races and won the Hartford Michigan Limited Late Model Championship. 2004 was a learning season with a steel block in a limited Late Model running against the super lates. At age 22 the real fun started in a late model. It’s also when the butt kicking started.
UMP DirtCar Michigan Regional Champion and Hartford Track Champ were the titles, Vochaska had by the end of his late model season. Those two titles were carried in 2006, 2007,and 2008. 2009 and 2010 added Hartford track championships number five and six. Also added in 2010 was another track championship at Thunderbird Raceway in Muskegon, Michigan.
This past season took a dominant state driver to a National threat driver. With two track championships the points made Vochaska the Michigan/Wisconsin Regional UMP DirtCar Champion. That placed the team in the top ten of National Points. The finished improved on the 2009 result in the Top thirty-five and top six in victories compared with all UMP drivers.
The 2009 season is not to over shadowed by the huge success of the 2010 season. Some of Vochaska’s favorite memories took place in ’09. Winning a non-qualifer race at Eldora rates high for any driver and Vochaska accomplished it, already in his young career. He also had his biggest payday after winning the Lane 45 at Hartford, taking home a cool $4500 plus another $500 for lap bonuses.
2010 did have some huge moments other then just impressive stats. Merritt Speedway has a “Race of Champions”. To race in that race, you must be invited by being a track champion. So winning that race means you beat the best of the best. The win was even more important because Vochaska passed the 2010 UMP National Point Champion, Rusty Schlenk and one of Merritt’s best drivers Dona Marcouliier for the victory. Then at Thunderbird, after racing 50 exhausting laps, Vochaska could not even stand up in victory lane.
This season should make the Hartford drivers happy. Team 34 is going to start traveling, going after more “crown jewels” in the racing world. This means not point racing at Hartford and Thunderbird. Vochaska is looking forward to racing in the Land of Lincoln. He says to beat the Illinois drivers, is beating some of the best in the country. Plus some of his favorite competitors include Hell Tour Champion Jason Feger, UMP National Champion Dennis Erb, Jr., and Frank Heckenast Jr. Also included in Vochaska’s favorite drivers to run against, Jr. Hotovy, Guy Volk, and Shawn Toczek.
I am looking forward to seeing Alan Vochaska’s trailer pull into some Illinois tracks this season. Once he gets the hang of this Illinois dirt, I really think he will give our guys a run for their money. He wants to be a threat wherever he unloads; I do not see that as a problem for this 27-year-old driver.
Alan Vochaska would like to thank:
Uncle Jerry Dings and Denny Harris for all their help thru the season
Bob and Nelda VanHorn for their continued support
Vern and Paula (Dad and Mom) for everything
Sweet MFG, AllStar Performance, Dowker Engines, Dyers Rods, MicroArmor Lubricants and Joe Gibbs Racing Oi
Photo Thanks to: Chris Yorks