Steve Harker Gainesville wrap up

Harker scores quarterfinal finish at Gators GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Transplanted Aussie NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Steve Harker scored a quarterfinal finish during this past weekend's AC Delco Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. Harker was...

Harker scores quarterfinal finish at Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Transplanted Aussie NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car pilot Steve Harker scored a quarterfinal finish during this past weekend's AC Delco Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. Harker was the picture of consistency all weekend, but lost a close race to eventual winner Dave Ray.

Harker, who is originally from Brisbane, Aus., qualified his 2001 Dodge Avenger ninth in the field with a 5.681 at 253.09 mph. In round one, he took out Mark Billington with another 5.681 at 251.60 mph. In his second round matchup with Ray, Harker slowed to a 5.732 at 250.48 mph which could not catch Ray's 5.630 at 254.38 mph.

"We came into the race wanting to be consistent and we achieved that," said Harker. "We burned a valve and had to change a motor in qualifying, so for having a couple of new crewmembers, to bounce back from that was a good thing. The crew worked real hard and did a good job all weekend. I've just been having a problem shifting the car a bit early in high gear. Once I get through that, the car is running the numbers down low to run low 5.60's. We'll just keep working on that and go from there."

Gainesville was the first of a three-week swing for the Harker Motorsports team. The team will head straight to Memphis for this weekend's Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event there, then to Houston for the O'Reilly Spring Nationals the following weekend.

"We're going to stay here for a day or so getting the car serviced," commented Harker. "My daughter Kate, who works on the car and handles our marketing is flying back home in Georgia, to work on some sponsor projects. We just want to pick up where we left off in Memphis and have another good outing."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Steve Harker , Mark Billington