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SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: Byron Glotzbach

SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: Byron Glotzbach

When Topekan Byron Glotzbach takes the track in Heartland Park Topeka’s Saturday Showdown dirt track series, he has more in mind than just trying to beat his competition in the Pure Stock class.

Racing is also one of the ways that Glotzbach and his wife, Sandy, deal with the cancer that has stricken Sandy twice over the past five years.

Instead of sitting at home and dwelling on the disease, Sandy is Byron’s regular companion at the track, enjoying life and racing.

Byron Glotzbach has a message inscribed to Sandy on the back fender of his No. 59 and he dedicates everything he does on the track to his wife.

“This is my second year of racing in my life and it started for one reason,’’ Byron said. “I wouldn’t be doing this, but it’s for what’s on the side (of the car).

“In ’08 she was a stage four liver cancer survivor and now it’s back in her lungs. I’m doing this just to keep her happy, and she’s doing really well. She’s out here and she helps me strap in and everything.’’

Byron Glotzbach notices a definite upswing in Sandy’s attitude when she’s at the race track, which spurs him on.

“She’s happy,’’ he said. “When you get cancer it’s hard to keep your attitude up and this and that. Saturday nights we’re out here because ever since she had her cancer in ’08 she’d come out and be happy every night. That’s what I’m out here for. It’s actually for her.’’

Byron has done his part on the track to keep Sandy smiling, dominating the Pure Stock division in recent weeks.

Last Saturday’s feature victory, his second straight, vaulted Glotzbach into the season points lead for the first time this season.

Glotzbach, who put the number 59 on his car because that’s how old he was when he started racing, will take a 12-point advantage over fellow Topekan Tyler Garst into this week’s race.

“I’m pretty happy with what’s going on,’’ Glotzbach said. “I’m getting used to the track which is the main thing.’’

Glotzbach is also enjoying being part of a Pure Stock class that is drawing more and more cars all the time.

“I started this because there were only seven or eight cars in the class two years ago,’’ he said. “We averaged 17 last year and we’re averaging 21 this year. It’s a good challenging class and these Pure Stock guys, they’re all wonderful people and they’re a lot of fun to be around.

“Yeah, we all have our ups and downs, but you know, everybody’s got that, even at home.’’

The Pure Stock division was the only class to get its feature completed last week before the program was rained out. The Modified, B Mod and Stock Car divisions will all run double features this week.

Spectator gates will open at 5 p.m. Saturday, with hot laps at 6:15 and racing at 7 o’clock.

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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.