SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: A.J. CHRISTIAN
Last weekend was Mother's Day and Topeka dirt track racer A.J. Christian honored his mom the same way he does every week, with his race car.
Christian's Pure Stock car carries the No. 355, a number you don't see every day but one that has a special meaning for Christian.
"Actually the third month of 1955 is my mom's birthday, and if it wasn't for my mom I wouldn't be (racing),'' Christian said.
Not only is Christian racing, after switching to dirt from drag racing, but he's in the midst of a strong start to the 2011 season.
In search of his first-ever track championship Christian is currently at the top of the Pure Stock standings.
"I'm working on it, it's a start,'' Christian said. “I actually led (the points) for a real short time in '06, but my best finish was fifth.''
Christian has built his points lead by running near the front each and every week.
"The car's been pretty good and pretty consistent every week, not changing on me much,'' he said.
"It's been real consistent and consistency is all that really matters at this point. We just try to finish the best we can every week and stay there (at the top).''
The fact that Christian is dirt racing at all is somewhat of a surprise.
"I used to drag race over here at the drag strip and my ex-brother-in-law kept telling me, "You need to get in a circle car, you need to go in circles,' '' Christian said.
"I kept saying, "No, I'm not going to try it. I honestly don't think it's any fun,' and I didn't even enjoy watching.''
One week, though, Christian finally relented and drove in a Cruisers event.
"After that I was hooked and I had a car in three weeks.''