Steve Harker Pumped After Return to Racing Baytown, TX. - After a relaxing break and a quick trip across the Pacific to homeland Australia, Steve Harker and his team were looking forward to their return to Top Alcohol Funny Car racing action....
Steve Harker Pumped After Return to Racing
Baytown, TX. - After a relaxing break and a quick trip across the Pacific to homeland Australia, Steve Harker and his team were looking forward to their return to Top Alcohol Funny Car racing action. The past weekends Division 4 Lucas Oil Sportsman event at Houston Raceway Park in Texas across February 16-18, kick started the 2007 season for Steve and his team. This event was also a special occasion for the Harker family as daughter; Kate joined her father on the NHRA tour as a full-time driver in Top Alcohol Dragster competitions, making this unique father-daughter combination a future headline to watch.
The Harker Motorsports team had a successful 2006 season making six final round appearances, earning two Top Qualifying positions and a 'Best Appearing Crew' award. This was the teams first full scheduled year on the tour competing at a total of 18 events on route to a 7th placing in the NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car National Points Series and finished 3rd in the South Central Division 4 series.
"We had a very relaxing break from racing and were glad to make the trip back to Australia for Christmas and the New Year" said Steve "But now it's back to business and we are confident that we can pick up the pace this year."
Nine teams lined up to compete for the top eight spots during qualifying action, Harker lead the pack early on making the only full track run in the Alcohol Funny car session on Friday with a 5.769-second, 232.47 mph run. The team failed to improve during Saturdays qualifying run's and dropped from the No. 1 spot to the No. 3 position, with veteran racer, Von Smith taking top honors with a 5.673-second pass at 254.09 mph.
"Being our first time back on the track in four months, we were happy with the cars performance during qualifying" said Steve "The weather conditions here this weekend have been better than expected and really drew a fine line for tuning the race cars so you can get them down the track without hurting parts."
When round one of competition rolled around on Sunday, Harker paired up against No. 6 qualifier, Will Hanna. The Texas native, Hanna showed strength early in the run but went into violent tire shake just after the 330ft clocks and could not catch Harker as he blasted down the track with a 5.721-second pass at 254.28 mph.
Harker was then to match up against the wild child, Kebin Kinsley in the semi-finals. Both teams struggled to make it back to the starting line in time, Harker's team suffered clutch problems and could not get the car turned around in time handing Kinsley a semi-final bye.
"It's a tough way to loose, we felt we had a good chance of winning that race" said Harker "A seized clutch stand slowed us down and we could not get it fixed in time, the crew did their best, but it was not going to be our weekend on the race track."
Eventual race winner was the Tennessee veteran, Von Smith over Kebin Kinsley with a tire shaking 6.296-second, 236.22 mph pass.
Steve's daughter Kate wheeled Tom Conway's Top Alcohol Dragster to a No. 8 spot qualifying effort in the team's new car. The junior Harker fell in round one of competition to current Division 4 Champion and event finalist, Spencer Massey's quicker 5.355-second run at 263.51 mph defeating Harker's 5.444-second, 263.26 mph pass.
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.