Jessie Harris, Still chasing her dream Jessie Harris had a second outing with the Supercharged Warriors race team, and says it felt so great to behind the wheel again after her 8 month hiatus. She has been working diligently towards her NHRA debut since the loss of her sponosor, TORCO Race Fuels earlier this year. Jessie shared her story after her weekend with the Warriors race team with Top Fuel Photos. I headed to Skyview Dragway in Tioga Center, NY on Saturday, Aug. 31. We picked the pills for our first qualifying run and as luck had it, I was paired up with my step dad (Joe Veschusio) and his “Thriller” 1948 fiat in the other lane. This would be the first time, my long time hero and mentor would be in the other lane… TOO COOL!!! You know I was gunning for him hard, especially since I was starting to feel comfortable in the “Wicked” ‘Vette door slammer. And as an added bonus, there was going to be a burnout contest that round for a certificate to use towards a new set of Mickey Thompson tires. After laying down a couple of 1/8 mile burnouts from both my step dad and I, Joe was forced to shut the car off and give up the qualifying run as he had a lack of oil pressure signaling some internal damage in the motor. Guess I would have to wait a little longer to race for bragging rights against my step dad. Once Joe was pulled safely off the track we went for a solid qualifying effort and got into the show with a pedaling 6.07 at 136 mph in the 1/8th mile. As first round rolled around at 10 pm, the track was slick and dewey. Two cars before me crossed the center line and were DQ’d from the show. At the hit of the throttle, the tires shook hard, I pedaled it once and got some traction, then about another 200 feet out, I pedaled again and short shifted into second trying to gain traction to take the round win. Just after shifting into third gear, I had to lift early as there was no traction to be had and tripped the lights through the 1/8 mile running a 6.51 at 120 mph. The car in the other Lane was Jared Yuhasz and his “Hellraiser” 23 T’ bucket who had the same problems as I did putting on a good pedalfest show but coasted through the lights just before I with a 6.26 taking the round win and granting him a spot in the final. The track called off the final run as the tracks conditions were just not up to par. So we drove over night to Beaver Springs Dragway for an event on Sunday, September 1. I paired up for the qualifier with “Mean Gene” Vogt in his “Nasty” 23 T’ bucket. I shut off a little early on the 1/4 mile dragstrip clicking a 7.88 at 148 mph. We had an electronic malfunction in the car, after I pulled third gear, the shift light came on causing me to believe it was necessary to shut off and not risk any damage to the engine. Luckily, we still made it into the show. I wasn’t ready to hang up my helmet just yet. So as 1st round approached, I was paired up with Mike Himes (the 2007 season champ)and his “Dangerzone” 1983 camaro. The competitive nature in me wanted to beat him from start to finish. Since I qualified lower on the ladder than Mike, he had lane choice. I had to give up the left lane and wound up staring right into the sun as we staged. Mike beat me off the line and through the finish line fair and square. We had almost identical cars and I just couldn’t make up the difference on the light to drive around him. To thank everybody in the Warriors, my family and I arranged a huge luau season ending party after the end of the race complete with food, drinks, and our very own reaction time racing competition. You can guarantee we had lots of fun late into the evening. I would like to thank Bob Lascak and his crew chief Karen DeBarto for offering me the chance to get behind the wheel of their “Wicked” Vette for the remainder of the season. I would also like to thank all of the Supercharged Warriors for taking me in like one of their own and letting me play in their arena with them. I am proud to have been an honorary “Warrior” for the past two weekends. I also want to thank the best fans and friends a racer could have who all continue to offer 100% support as I continue my quest to drive a Nitro Funny Car in 2009.