SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: TYLER WUDARCZYK

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Tyler Wudarczyk has established himself as one of the Midwest region’s top drag racers, starring at Heartland Park Topeka as well on the NHRA Division V circuit.

But last Saturday the local racer took his first step towards branching out into dirt track stock car racing.

After racing two cars in Heartland Park’s ET Bracket Racing Series and posting a victory and a quarterfinal finish, Wudarczyk hustled over to HPT’s dirt track, climbed in a dirt car for the first time and finished ninth in the Pure Stock feature of the Saturday Showdown Series after starting 13th.

“It was quite the experience,” Wudarczyk said. “It was definitely a heck of a lot of fun.”

Wudarczyk and drag racing buddies Troy Ross and Landon Stallbaumer, Wudarczyk’s brother-in-law, made the decision last fall to purchase a dirt car and put one of the three in the car to race in the Saturday Showdown Series when their drag racing schedule allowed.

Ross competed in a race last fall and last Saturday was Wudarczyk’s turn.

“Landon and I were the only two that hadn’t drove it yet out of the three of us so we flipped a quarter after we were done drag racing on Saturday and I wound up winning the flip so I hustled over there and raced,” Wudarczyk said.

Wudarczyk is the first to admit that he’s not an accomplished dirt track racer, at this point anyway, but the sport does intrigue him.

“I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m so competitive I want to know how to do it,” he said. “I wish there was a way to practice, but there’s only one way to practice and that’s just to keep on going.”

While drag racing will remain Wudarczyk’s main focus, he wouldn’t mind continuing to make at least semi-regular appearances in the dirt track series.

“Last Saturday night was the first time I ever drove and I had no idea what I was doing but, man, it was a heck of a good time,” he said. “Definitely at some point I wouldn’t mind trying to get a little more serious into it. I would definitely entertain that idea if I could ever get more seat time in the dirt car and get good at it.

“I’ve had a decent amount of success drag racing and I understand how hard it is to get to that point and how much work you have to put in and how much time you have to dedicate to it. I would definitely want to do the same thing with the dirt car.”

And regardless of what happens from here on out, last Saturday is a day Wudarczyk will remember fondly.

“Saturday was pretty good for me,” he said. “I drove both cars at the drag strip and won and got to the quarterfinals and then I (went) over to the dirt track and got into something I’d never done before and wound up not killing myself and not wrecking the car, so that was good.”

HPT.com will feature racers throughout the 2014 season. If you have someone you would like to see spotlighted send contact information and details to rick.peterson@cjonline.com or call Rick Peterson at (785) 295-1129.


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