Kate Harker to drive Conway Racing A/Fuel Dragster in Vegas LAS VEGAS - Recently licensed Australian Top Alcohol Dragster driver Kate Harker will drive Tom Conway's Skull Shine/Torco Race Fuels A/Fuel Dragster during this weekend's NHRA Division...
Kate Harker to drive Conway Racing A/Fuel Dragster in Vegas
LAS VEGAS - Recently licensed Australian Top Alcohol Dragster driver Kate Harker will drive Tom Conway's Skull Shine/Torco Race Fuels A/Fuel Dragster during this weekend's NHRA Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at "The Strip" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Lee Callaway, who normally drives the car, will reassume driving duties at next weekend's AAA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, Calif.
Harker, 23, originally from Brisbane, Aus., recently finished her Top Alcohol Dragster license at a test session at the Texas Motorplex with a blistering 5.355 second lap at 255 mph behind the wheel of Conway's dragster. With Callaway already competing at his maximum number of events to claim points, the door was open for Harker to gain additional seat time this weekend.
However, this isn't the ordinary NHRA divisional event. The combination of this being the last divisional event of the year, in Las Vegas and the fact it is on the way to next weekend's AAA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, usually draws huge car counts in all categories. 29 of the top drivers in the country are entered in the event, all vying for an eight car field.
"It's just starting to kick in," said Harker. "Any time you race, you want to win, but with all the tough cars here this weekend and it being my first race, I will be happy just to qualify. I really just want to learn some more and get some seat time. Hopefully the experience will better prepare me for next year."
"This has all come together so fast," Harker continued. "Tom has been very supportive of my driving efforts. He showed a genuine interest in my progress at Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School and offered his dragster to finish my license. Lee has already maxed out his number of divisional races, so Tom thought it would be a good opportunity for me to get more seat time."
This weekend won't be Harker's first venture into competition. In her homeland of Australia, she was an accomplished pilot in both the Jr. Dragster ranks along with the ANDRA Modified eliminator, the NHRA equivalent of Top Dragster. She also has a Bachelors of Commerce from Griffith University, which she hopes to use to acquire sponsorship for next season. Harker plans to compete along with her identical twin sister, Diana, on the 2007 NHRA tour. Harker's father, Steve, currently campaigns a Top Alcohol Funny Car.
"We're actively looking for marketing partners for next year," stated Harker. "My sister and I hope to compete as a two car team. We have some deals in the works, but this weekend I just want to take it one step at a time and make a good showing for Skull Shine and Torco Race Fuels. I'm very grateful to Tom and his team for the opportunity this weekend, and I hope to make the most of it."
Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars, with two more sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday.
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