Steve Harker scores runner-up in Cajun Country BELLE ROSE, La. - Native Australian turned touring U.S. NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Steve Harker reached his first final round for the season with a runner-up finish during this past weekend's...
Steve Harker scores runner-up in Cajun Country
BELLE ROSE, La. - Native Australian turned touring U.S. NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Steve Harker reached his first final round for the season with a runner-up finish during this past weekend's Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, La. This was the teams second outing for the year after a solid semi-final round finish two weeks previous at Houston Raceway Park.
Harker took top qualifying honors going into eliminations leading the Top Alcohol Funny Car field with a blistering 5.619 second pass at 254.71 mph pass during Saturdays qualifying. Following Harker's footsteps was California resident Jay Payne grabbing the number two position with his 5.669 second run at 254.76 mph proceeding current Division 4 Top Alcohol Champion, Jimmy Jones, followed by Kebin Kinsley and Steve Burck.
"We fitted some new parts to the engine in the off season and are starting to get some good data on the set up" says Steve "We also have new crew who are doing a great job learning our routine."
First round of eliminations gave Harker the bye but he did not plan to take it easy laying down a consistent 5.600 seconds pass at 256.84 mph giving him lane choice over Jimmy Jones in the semi-finals.
Harker took no prisoners in the next round of competition as fellow competitor and native Texan, Jimmy Jones found out. Harker laid down an impressive 5.557 seconds at 258.86 mph pass and drove past a tire shaking Jones' 12.331 second run at 66.86 mph.
The final round match up paired Harker against Jay Payne who in previous rounds set low Et and Mph for the event. Both cars left good but with starting line advantage going to Payne he held that advantage to take the win with a 5.602 second pass at 255.82 mph defeating Harker's 5.636 second lap at 257.04 mph.
"We had fun this weekend, going rounds and having the race car run consistent is great" comments Steve "Driver error let us down in the final as I was late on reaction time and I felt the car shake a little and shifted low gear early" "The car probably would have run another mid-to-high 5.50 if the driver had of got it right, but we leave here happy, we have more data on the new combination and the crew did a great job."
Steve's daughter Kate made small steps this weekend pushing the Conway Automotive A/Fuel Dragster into the number five qualifying position but lost first round of competition to eventual winner Lindsey Wood driving for the Darien and Meadows team. Kate Harker's best run of the weekend was a 5.439 second lap at 261.17 mph before the car went into to tire smoke on the hit against Wood in first round.
The next race event for the Harker Motorsports team will be in two weeks at the NHRA ACDelco GatorNationals in Gainesville, Florida across March 15-18.