Austin Bouzek: This Champ is No Longer Winless

Austin Bouzek: This Champ is No Longer Winless

Trenton, Missouri’s Austin Bouzek drove by several tracks to compete against some of the best in IMCA stock cars. His quest for competition rewarded him with a championship at Stuart International Speedway in Iowa last year. Yet, he didn’t manage to nab a win … that is, until now.

Bouzek won his first IMCA feature stock car race last Thursday at Stuart International Speedway.

“There are tracks as close as 20 minutes from home, but I drive right by them to go to Iowa,” Bouzek said. “I like the competition and atmosphere in Iowa. Racers are focused more. They are in a mode that feels more serious about racing. So, I passed the tracks that I could win at.”

Before embarking to compete in the IMCA ranks, Bouzek won 21 features.

“I found the competition in Iowa is tough — and I love that,” said Bouzek. “I kept telling myself, ‘To be the best, you have to race with the best.’”

At the end of the 2023 season, Bouzek earned himself an IMCA track championship, but without taking a feature win. He and his father, David, went to work to remedy that. They built their own car under the name of RDR Race Cars. (RDR stands for Really Damn Rowdy.)

“We struggled with the IMCA ride-height rule,” Bouzek said. “It raised the front end up a bit. I converted all my stuff to run IMCA all the time, changed the setup, and learned from my competition. Those Iowa drivers can make a racer out of you.”

Austin Bouzek ran 37 nights last season and hopes for the same this season.

“Seat time is the biggest advantage if you want to learn to be faster,” said Bouzek. “I can race in the IMCA stock car division Wednesday to Saturday in Iowa.”

His win on Thursday motivated him to race Friday at two more IMCA-sanctioned Iowa tracks — Marshalltown Speedway and Boone Speedway. He finished 10th and ninth, respectively.

“After winning [at Stuart], Matt [Oberhelman, his right-hand man] and I drove all the way home to Missouri,” Bouzek said. “[We] stayed up to 4 a.m. changing gears and going over the car, just so we can drive three hours back to Marshalltown Speedway.”