Steve Harker Topeka final summary

Harker reaches third straight final in Topeka TOPEKA, Kan. -- Aussie NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Steve Harker was at it again making his fifth final round appearance of the season and his third straight in as many races during this past ...

Harker reaches third straight final in Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Aussie NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Steve Harker was at it again making his fifth final round appearance of the season and his third straight in as many races during this past weekend's O'Reilly Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan. Harker set low elapsed time of the event in his final round match-up against former Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion, Bob Newberry.

Harker's team qualified the 2006 Chevy Monte Carlo 2nd in the field with a run of 5.658 seconds at 252.43 mph behind Jay Payne's 5.619, 259.21 mph run.

First round match-up paired Harker with newcomer, Casey Beal who qualified in the 15th position. Both drivers were dead even at the start, but Harker had the power to drive away for the win with a 5.643 seconds at 255.58 mph run to defeat Beal's 5.954, 242.63 mph pass.

Harker had lane choice over veteran driver Vern Moats in the second round. Moats launched into tire shake and had to pedal it, but by then Harker was long gone making his third mid-sixties run of the weekend, 5.630 at 256.60 mph.

The team's consistency continued into their semifinal pairing against former Top Alcohol Dragster driver, Sean O'Bannon in his National event debut. O'Bannon tried to even things out with a good reaction time, .040 to .079, but it was not enough to hold off Harker's 5.627 at 255.00 mph run giving the team lane choice in the Finals.

Harker showed he had the performance advantage coming into the final round against Bob Newberry and he did. But Harker was way early on the starting line and fouled out handing Newberry an automatic win. Harker laid down the quickest run of the weekend for the Alcohol Funny Car class with an impressive 5.604 at 254.42 mph but it wasn't meant to be Harker's turn in the winner's circle.

"We had the quickest and most consistent car in the class all weekend, its tough to lose on a red light but that's how it goes" comments Harker "The driver let us down, but it makes the team and myself more determined to try harder next time and we will."

With his fifth final round appearance Harker takes over the National points lead for the Top Alcohol Funny Car Championship chase. Harker also currently holds the Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series points lead.

The next event for the Harker Motorsports team will be the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago, IL across June 7-10.

-credit: hm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Newberry , Steve Harker , Vern Moats , Jay Payne