Dallas: Emotional return for Farr

ENNIS, Texas - When the NHRA O'Reilly Fallnationals were originally scheduled for October, Pro Stock Truck driver Steven Farr originally looked at the event as somewhat of a hometown event. Farr, who drives award-winning chassis builder Jerry...

ENNIS, Texas - When the NHRA O'Reilly Fallnationals were originally scheduled for October, Pro Stock Truck driver Steven Farr originally looked at the event as somewhat of a hometown event. Farr, who drives award-winning chassis builder Jerry Haas' Chevrolet S-10, resides in nearby Colleyville, just 30 minutes from Ennis. However, rains invaded the Texas Motorplex and the event was re-scheduled for November 4th and 5th. This particular time of the year will always have an emotional hold on his heart after an unfortunate incident that transpired last November.

Farr was a college student at Blinn College, which is considered to be a brother college to Texas A&M, where a fatal bonfire accident claimed the lives of several of his colleagues. On November 18, twelve students died and 27 others were injured when a structure collapsed. Two of Farr's close friends were among the injured.

Farr will be running stickers on the Haas entry in memory of those lost in the traditional bonfire, which began in 1909. He explained that this tradition was one shared by him and his friends and was always considered to be a real special occasion.

"We all cut the trees down for the bonfire," Farr said. "I always viewed all of these people as friends, and to a point, as a part of my extended family. I knew a couple of people that died and I had even been there with them building the stuff. One of my best friends was on the particular structure that collapsed and was in the rotation of students to exit it just before it fell. He and I grew up together and it makes me feel better that he was okay. A lot of other people weren't so lucky."

The memories are still alive in his head and will always be there.

"It was tough to deal with," recalled Farr. "It was on television all the time around here. I couldn't do anything. I was in a state of shock. My friends and I didn't go to school. We stayed glued to the television watching for the latest news to check on the condition of my friends. I went to high school with a lot of people that went to college there."

Since the tragedy, school officials announced that the tradition would be suspended until 2002. The news source reported that it had only been cancelled once since the inception, and that was after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

He's hoping for a good showing as a tribute to the families and friends of those affected by the unfortunate incident.

Despite failing to make the cut at the last two events, Farr's season has been a plenty good one considering it is his rookie year. His best finish thus far has been a semi-final showing at the Pontiac Excitement Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Farr also qualified for one of the two open spots at the Winston No-Bull Showdown in Bristol, TN.

Team owner Haas can remember last year as well. During this time last season, he was driving his Bill Jenkins-powered machine to a tenth place finish in the NHRA Winston Pro Stock Truck points standings. When Farr approached him about running the decals on the truck, he was more than willing to oblige his driver.

"Steven is a genuinely good person and I know that what transpired last year is still heavy on his heart," said Haas. "I was glad that I could help and I hope that we can put forth a good showing for those that were injured in this unfortunate incident. Our prayers go out to those families affected by this tragedy."

Haas continued, "We have done some testing since then and we have had some good results. I think we will do well."

Professional will begin Friday for the Pro Stock Trucks at the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Ennis, Texas. Final eliminations are slated for Saturday.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jerry Haas