Kate Harker Mixes It Up With the Boys at Houston Raceway Park Baytown, TX. - This past weekend's South Central Division 4 race event got some added female attention in the Top Alcohol Dragster ranks, as Australian driver Kate Harker mixed things...
Kate Harker Mixes It Up With the Boys at Houston Raceway Park
Baytown, TX. - This past weekend's South Central Division 4 race event got some added female attention in the Top Alcohol Dragster ranks, as Australian driver Kate Harker mixed things up and had some fun with the boys in Baytown, Texas. The weekend saw Division 4's best drivers in all eight Lucas Oil sportsman categories come together for the opening event across February 16-18, 2007 for some high speed action.
Harker's recent announcement pairing her with Team Owner and Crew Chief, Tom Conway had the team evenly weighted within the field. This is Conway's home division, one he has contended as both a driver and a Team Owner for multiple years. Harker made her first Division 4 start along side new team mate and super comp racer, Shawn Langdon in the Top Alcohol Dragster ranks.
This weekend marked a special event for Harker and her family as it was the second time since 1998 that Kate and her father, Steve have lined up for Drag Racing competition together at the same event. Previous to the Las Vegas Division 7 event in November 2006, the last time an entry list shared two Harker names was nine years ago in their homeland Australia, when Kate, then 15 was competing in Junior Dragster competition whilst her Father campaigned his Top Alcohol Funny Car.
"I am really excited to be lining up in Top Alcohol Dragster with dad competing in Top Alcohol Funny Car this year; it's defiantly a motivation for both of us." Says Kate "Right now my focus is on driving the dragster and putting what I learnt last year into practice, I really want to make it a great race season for Tom and the team."
With Langdon behind the wheel of Conway's 2006 car, Harker took charge of the teams newly assemble rail originally built for the late Shelly Howard. Both cars made it out for Saturday qualifying, with Langdon hitting the No. 3 spot with a 5.420-second, 264.75 mph run and Harker squeezing in to the No. 8 position running a 5.837-second pass at 233.20 mph.
"We broke a push rod and hurt one of the heads on the last qualifying effort but the team did a wonderful job to get the engine fixed for first round" comments Kate "The new car has been fun to drive and a new learning experience, we still have to make a few adjustments in the cockpit including a new seat to help me feel completely comfortable in the car."
Harker paired up against reigning Division 4 Champion, Spencer Massey for the first round of eliminations. The 23 year-old Australian showed her confidence by taking a slight starting line advantage, 0.043 to 0.045 in reaction times. But the Spencer Massey / Gene Snow combination had the power to drive past Kate and take the win with a quicker 5.355-second run at 263.51 mph defeating Harker's 5.444-second, 263.26 mph pass.
Fellow team mate, Shawn Langdon defeated James Thompson Jr. in round one of competition before being overcome in the semi-finals by eventual event winner Morgan Lucas.
Harker's father, Steve, had a solid weekend qualifying his Top Alcohol Funny Car in the No. 3 spot with a 5.769-second pass at 232.47 mph, defeated Texas native, Will Hanna in the first round of elimination before being unable to make the call for his semi-final match-up with Kebin Kinsley due to mechanical problems.
This will be the first season this Father-daughter duo will contend for top honors in the Lucas Oil Sportsman Series' for Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car. It may be the season that this family will share the winner's circle together making this unique Father-daughter combination a headline to watch.
The next race event for this father-daughter Top Alcohol duo will be in two weeks at the Division 4 Lucas Oil Sportsman event at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, Louisiana across March 2-4, 2007.
-credit: kdh racing