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SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: JOHN OKONEK and AARON ELEVIER


John Okonek owns two of the sharpest cars you’ll see on the street.

Okonek’s 2009 Cadillac V Series and 2004 Cadillac XLR also stand out when he takes them out to the Heartland Park Topeka dragstrip.

“In three sessions when I first got (the) cars we walked off with five trophies, between my daughter and I,’’ Okonek said. “It’s all about a lot of luck and dialing in.

“It’s a learning situation, should we say?’’

Okonek and fellow Topekan Aaron Elevier shared driving duties during the first E.T. Bracket Series event at HPT competing in the Trophy and Sportsman classes.

Okonek is understandably very proud of both cars.

“There’s only one car like (the V) in the whole Topeka area right now,’’ Okonek said. “That’s made by the racing division and designed in Germany. My wife’s cousin, John Heinricy (SCCA Runoffs driving legend), is the one who designed it. Up to like a month ago that was classified as the fastest four-door sedan ever built.

“That (XLR) they don’t build any more so that one’s a collector’s item.’’

The Cadillac V has run a quarter-mile in 12.10 seconds at 111 miles per hour while the XLR is consistently in the 14-second range and has run 102 miles per hour.

“It’s just fun,’’ Okonek said.

Elevier is a veteran drag racer and took Okonek’s offer to race one of the Caddies.

“This is my fourth season out here and then I raced two seasons when I lived in Kansas City, at KCIR,’’ Elevier said. “I usually race a Ford Mustang but John asked me to race this for him.

“I think John enjoys bringing a car with all the bells and whistles out here and still compete with cars that are designed for this. You can bring out anything, including luxury cars, and have a nice time.’’

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