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Heartland Park Topeka Modified dirt racer Ronnie Burkhardt has progressed a long ways during his racing career, not only in terms of performance but also as far as car size and power.

"They called them Dwarf cars back then and they were a lot of fun,'' said the Topekan about his racing debut. " I started out in them and just progressed from there.''

Burkhardt came by his love of racing naturally, following his father into the sport.

"I've been racing probably 12 years altogether,'' Burkhardt said. "My dad raced when I was a little kid, so I just kind of followed in his footsteps. "I grew up with it and I got hooked. My dad ran the old jalopies out at Topeka Raceway back in the old days.''

The 45-year-old Burkhardt has raced in the Modified class over the past seven seasons and said he continues to learn what he can and can't do in HPT's premier class.

"Every weekend you learn something,'' Burkhardt said. "The setups change so often that you can learn something every week, you really can.''

Burkhardt, who owns his own carpentry business, said its tough on him when he has a tough night at the track, but he said that no matter what, he loves what he does.

"Every time I show up at the track I get the same feeling, no matter what,'' Burkhardt said. "I love it.''
Heartland Park's Super Showdown Stock Car Series will be back in action Saturday at Speedway after taking a week off while HPT hosted the NHRA O'Reilly Nationals drag racing event.

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