Motor plagues Fair, Jr in Toledo "Michigan native can't catch a break in premier event" Miland, Michigan (Wednesday, October 1st, 2003) - - Harold Fair, Jr has had an incredible season on the ARCA Super Late Model tour. The Midland Michigan ...
Motor plagues Fair, Jr in Toledo
"Michigan native can't catch a break in premier event"
Miland, Michigan (Wednesday, October 1st, 2003) - - Harold Fair, Jr has had an incredible season on the ARCA Super Late Model tour.
The Midland Michigan native has a whopping six wins to his credit this year, driving his familiar No. 71 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. With "luck" on the former American Speed Association competitor side, he hoped an event where he has seen tough luck in the past, would make this season really one to remember.
In the past, the Glass City 200 has not been kind to the third generation driver. From accidents, to mechanical failures, he's seen it all, but hopes were high for the Fair Racing team heading into the weekend.
"This is the event, I've been looking forward to all season," said Fair, Jr. "We've run great in the past in this event, but something would keep us from sealing the deal, and we're hoping the same won't happen Sunday."
In the first practice session driving the Royal Truck & Trailer Sales and Service Chevrolet, Jr posted the sixth fastest lap after clicking a lap in 15.815 seconds, amounting to a speed of 113.816 MPH. "The first practice was good, but we're looking to make some changes to go faster," said the driver.
The second session left the team with all smiles after posting the runner-up (second) fastest time. Driving, his 1999 Chevrolet body style car around the .5 mile short track in a time of 15.541 seconds, or 115.823 MPH. "That was great for us, I definitely think we'll have a shot at the win on Sunday, if we keep this up."
Heading into time trials, the team was hoping to post a lap that would leave them starting as close to the front as possible. "Qualifying on a short track is crucial, the closer you start to the front, the better off you will be," stated Harold.
Fair, Jr was decent in his multicolored machine during the qualifying run. By the end of the session, the No. 71 would be lined up 16th. "We broke a rear axle during qualifying, which really cost us a good starting spot, but we're lucky to have grabbed the starting spot and not wreck the car," he continued.
The team would work fiercely to repair the rear axle, knowing that perfection was key as the goal was to avoid this from happening the rest of the weekend.
In the final practice session for the drivers, Harold Fair, Jr posted the fifth quickest time. After rocketing his car around the Toledo, Ohio based track in 15.676 seconds transferring to a speed of 114.825 MPH.
The team arrived early at the ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) track Sunday, quickly beginning to work on the car, which also carried associate sponsorship from Roaded Load Tested.
"We're making some changes to the roll center, shocks and the rear end," Harold explained.
Harold, who has also spent time on the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series tour, mentioned how important this race is to the drivers. "This is one of our biggest events of the year, there is a tremendous amount of talent here, you just have to keep your head straight; remember it's a long event and you can't win the race in the first 100 laps."
"We've had such a dominant car here in the past, and we've been rocked, we're hoping that the monkey is off our back and we can claim that this team deserves."
As driver introductions were taking place, Mother Nature rolled over the Michigan/Ohio border dumping heavy rain and a little bit of lighting that would delay the action on the track for almost two hours.
"It's a shame that the rains came so close to race time," he said. "I hate it for the fans, but I was able to spend some time with my family and crew."
Green Flag racing would shine over the track shortly after 2:00pm, with Fair quickly jumping three spots on the start. Fair, Jr was content to "ride along" and carefully race his way into the top ten and then make the mad dash to go for the win in the final 100 circuits of the event.
Jr reported to his Fair Racing team that his machine was a little loose and what adjustments he would like made to try and help the handling of his machine.
While the action was hot and heavy for several competitors on the track, Harold was able to avoid the accidents thanks to great spotting from his wife, Trish who has become his biggest supporter.
During the course of the last twenty lap run in the first segment, he would pick up another position on the track, and would the flag waved at lap 100, Fair Jr had worked his way up into the eighth place spot.
The teams made a chassis adjustment, added tires, and fuel and set him back on the track after a twenty-minute break.
In the second session, Fair would quickly become aggressive, but using caution while trying to make his way into the top five.
Quickly in the second half, as things were looking good for him, things would go just the other way as fast.
Nearing fifty laps to go, the former ICEMAN Supercar Series driver informed his crew that the engine was beginning to let go and he was going to bring his car to pit road and call it a day.
"This was tough, we had a great car, but sometimes you cannot control engine failure," said Harold, who was credited with a 20th place finish on Sunday.
"The car was good, and I felt that we had one of the best cars in the field, but we were bitten again, we'll just have to pick up the pieces and look forward to 2004."
With Jr, out of the race, the team's eyes turned to Harold Fair, Sr who was also competing in the event. Like father, like son Sr., his machine quiet, but made a late charge in the last fifty laps of the event as was able to cross the line fifth.
"I'm so happy for my dad, he had a good car, and this is a finish that he deserves."
As for 2004, Fair Racing is looking at all options. "We want to be racing next year, we're looking for sponsorship, from ARCA, to USAR, and even some late model events, we want to be doing it all, but we need some backing to do that, we'll be spending our off-season trying to close those deals."
"We have great things to offer at Fair Racing, we've got a very experience crew, and a determined driver, and some good equipment, we just need some sponsorship."