Drag Illustrated Issue 182, May / June 2023 - Page 122

Holeshot Hitter Jason Harris Rolls to Semifinal Finish

Two-time PDRA Pro Nitrous world champion Jason Harris rolled into the 2023 season back in a ProCharged , Pro Line Racing-powered Camaro destined for PDRA Pro Boost competition . But first , Harris was determined to make a splash at the World Series of Pro Mod . The new combination showed progress as soon as Harris started testing on Monday .
“ From the time we unloaded the car to the last run , the car was flawless ,” Harris said . “ Brandon Stroud and Pro Line did a great job . They came down to help me with the new combination . We made some half-trackers and ended up testing really good on Monday . We didn ’ t test on Tuesday . We tested Wednesday and Thursday . We made 22 passes the whole time we were there , and really had no issues .”
Harris laid down a 3.68 at 204.79 in the first qualifying session to put himself solidly in the field in the No . 7 slot . Knowing he couldn ’ t rest with over 50 cars chasing him , he stepped up to a 3.647 in Q2 to move up to third . The third session didn ’ t see any changes , and even after all the shuffling of the final session , Harris held down his No . 3 spot . That didn ’ t do anything to help calm his nerves , though .
“ Truthfully , I was nervous the whole time ,” Harris admitted . “ I ’ ve been in championship battles before where it came down to one round . I ’ ve been in finals for all kinds of stuff . But I was nervous from Q1 to the final round . It was such a prestigious race and I really wanted to qualify . If I could ’ ve been in the top 20 I was going to be happy . Even if I qualified period , I would ’ ve been grateful . Nobody there was a duck . Everybody there was the heaviest of the hitters and the baddest of the bad . Just to be able to be a part of the race was a win for me .”
As eliminations progressed , it was clear Harris was more than just a part of the race . He was a serious contender . In Saturday night ’ s chip draw , the two-time PDRA Pro Nitrous world champion was paired up with four-time and reigning Pro
Nitrous world champion Jim Halsey . Harris was first off the line with a . 009 light to Halsey ’ s . 019 , and his 3.742 was just quick enough to stay ahead of Halsey ’ s 3.739 for a . 007 margin of victory .
“ Drawing Jim Halsey first round , I knew that was going to be a big mountain to climb ,” Harris said . “ Me and Jim have run before in the nitrous stuff , but I felt like I had an advantage and the track got tricky . I got lucky and I was driving good .”
Another tough draw , Jay Cox , was waiting in the second round . A superior light saved Harris yet again , as his 3.685 beat Cox ’ s 3.682 . For the second round in a row , Harris was . 022 leaving the starting line against Randy Weatherford in the third round . This time , he was not only the quickest of the pairing with a 3.647 to Weatherford ’ s 3.654 , but he was also quickest of the round . Harris had lane choice over Spencer Hyde in the semis , but Harris had his worst light of the day (. 070 ) while Hyde had his best light (. 011 ). Harris laid down a 3.646 , but it wasn ’ t enough to beat Hyde ’ s 3.655 .
“ I just tried to go round to round to round ,” Harris said . “ Then I ran into Spencer and had a bad light and he took advantage of it . That ’ s kind of the way the weekend went . You had to be lucky when you needed to be lucky , and you needed to be good when you needed to be good . That ’ s kind of the way it was . I just didn ’ t get lucky when I needed to be lucky .” – NATE VAN WAGNEN DI
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