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SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: Tyler Garst

SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: Tyler Garst

Topeka Pure Stock dirt track racer Tyler Garst knew that his early-season hot streak in Heartland Park Topeka’s Super 8 at Forbes Landing Saturday Showdown Series couldn’t last forever.

But Garst’s three straight feature wins to open the 2013 campaign established the former Seaman High School multi-sport athlete as the driver to beat in his class. Now the key for Garst is to hold off the rest of the field in what has become a deep Pure Stock division.

“It’s put more pressure on me,’’ Garst said of his hot start, “I want to try and keep the success going that we had, and that’s really difficult in this division with some of the better cars that we have out here.

“Five or six of us could win every night so it puts more pressure on me but it was good to get off to that good of a start.’’

Garst, who was second in last year’s Pure Stock final standings, has cooled off somewhat since his three-for-three start, but has still yet to be out of the top 10 over the first seven races.

In addition to the three wins, Garst has finished third, fifth, 10th, seventh and eighth thus far in the 53T and holds a 27-point lead over fellow Topekan Byron Glotzbach in the point standings heading into Saturday night’s event.

And Garst would rather be the driver being chased than to have to be in chase mode, which he was in 2012.

“It was good to get out to a good points lead to start off the year so we can have a little bit of a cushion,’’ Garst said.

Garst actually plans to change cars at some point this season, but he would like to get one more win in his current car before making the switch.

“We really want to get out of this old car,’’ he said. “With my dad winning (several) weeks ago, I’m going to go to that car once I get my fourth win. That’s something that we had in mind over the winter, but we want to get one more win in this one and then just try to be top-three, top-five, just be consistent and pick up as many points a night as we can.’’

Spectator gates for Saturday’s Showdown Series event will open at 5 p.m., with hot laps to follow at 6:15 and racing to get under way at 7 o’clock.

Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for kids four through 12. Children three and under will be admitted free.

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HPT.com will be featuring drivers throughout the 2013 season. If you have a driver you would like to see spotlighted, send details and contact information to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Rick can also be reached on Twitter @peterson_rick.