SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: MIKE HIGLEY
Local dirt track racer Mike Higley is just eight points behind Dalton Kirk in the B Modified point standings as the Super Saturday Showdown Series at Heartland Park Topeka winds down.
But no matter how the final standings turn out, the 2011 season is one that Higley will remember fondly.
“It’s been a fantastic year,’’ Higley said. “We struggled a little bit last season as we kind of put a new team together. We got everything together in the offseason and we’ve just had nothing but good luck and success for the majority of the year.
“It’s been one heck of a ride.’’
Higley, 30, and Kirk, a junior in high school, have had a friendly rivalry throughout the season.
“I’ve been so impressed with his consistency,’’ Higley said of Kirk. “He has just shown amazing consistency and speed every single week and that’s what’s made it so much fun.
“The nights that I’ve been fortunate enough to win you look back to see who finished in second and it’s almost a guaranteed deal that it’s the 30 (Kirk). It’s exactly what I would want out of a points battle and exactly how I’d like to race for one.’’
Higley, who started racing go-karts when he was 10 years old and has raced stock cars since ‘06, could miss an upcoming HPT points race because of a previous commitment for a race in Iowa. But even if that ends up costing him a shot at a track championship, Higley will end the year with a smile on his face.
“We’ve got seven wins right now at Heartland and nine total on our season where last year we didn’t even sniff the top five all year long,’’ Higley said.
“For our team to come as far as it did in the offseason and to have the luck and success we’ve had this season we’ve been really fortunate this year. After a season like last year you definitely enjoy a fortunate one.’’