Aussie veteran creates US drag racing history

Speedcafe.com

Tuesday 7th October, 2014 - 3:56pm

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Steve Harker after learning he'd won an NHRA title

Steve Harker after learning he’d won an NHRA title (PIC: NHRA)

Australian Drag racer, Steve Harker has created history in winning the NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car Championship after a brace of wins in Pennsylvania over the weekend.

The veteran Queenslander became the first ever international driver to win an NHRA Title. Ironically, despite 24 years of racing at the pinnacle of Top Alcohol in Australia, it was his first major Title.

Lucas Oils Sportsman Series Finals (which Harker’s category forms part of) from the recently washed out round in Charlotte were run on the Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania, which Harker duly won, then he went onto take out the Reading event proper, thus securing the points required to take the Series overall.

During the course of his performance at the weekend, he also secured the fastest elapsed time and fastest speed of anyone in the 19 car field.

Harker edged to the top of the timesheets after a fierce qualifying battle that saw him set the early pace, drop back to second, then fire back to the point after the third round of qualifications with a 5.510 second pass.

It was his 12th top qualifying time.

Harker’s results back up performances from 2007 by his daughter, Kate, who was the first non-American woman to win an NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster event and holds the fastest pass in an NHRA Top Alcohol event for a woman with a 5.22 second pass.

The Championship victory further highlights the strength of Australian drag racing on the American stage at the moment and adds to stellar performances in 2014 by Richie Crampton – who has taken two Mello Yello Series Top Fuel event wins and Shane Tucker – who has made the field for the majority of his limited NHRA Pro Stock Championship events.

Kate Harker will be behind the wheel full of confidence this weekend at Willowbank Raceway for the latest round of the Queensland Drag Racing Championships.