Quick Drive Racing– This question is going to you Rod, Pulling a huge heavy load at low speed to running a 200 + MPH Top Alcohol Dragster are exact opposites on the spectrum. What was the toughest thing to learn when you made the transition?
Karl – I have driven the current car a few times; my best run in the car was this year at a race in June. I finished runner up but ran our first 5 second pass in the car it was a 5.99 at 216mph. I did have and run my own alcohol funny car in 2009-2010. That was the first drag car I drove. Dad was running his other car back then and we ran as a 2 car team. We still run 2 cars at present, the team rents out an older/smaller dragster to a really good friend of ours. My best mate and I are currently rebuilding my funny car chassis up to a nostalgia nitro f/c which will have a 1969 VW Beetle body on it. I also have a big show nitro funny car in my garage that I'm rebuilding for another good friend.
Quick Drive Racing – Karl it’s the week before any big race and we all know teams have allot of prep to do. Can you tell us from a “Tuner” standpoint what that week looks like?
Karl– In one word it's hectic! It's always hard the week before a race, there's so much to do and organize. Just loading the trailer can take a whole day or more. We run as if we was a professional team, our trailer and support equipment is as good as any of the fuel teams. To do that it takes time, then there's the usual panic of parts not arriving on time etc. What I will say though is, once it's all done and we drive through the gates of the track, get set up and then put a good pass in it all seems worthwhile. At that point you forget about the stupid amount of hours that are spent just getting ready.
Quick Drive Racing – Every team has a support group
behind them. Rod tell us about the men and women
who help keep your car running down to the 1/4 mile
Rod – Firstly my wife Kim, who has supported me from
the word go in both the Pulling and the Drag Racing
and still continues to do so, my son Karl who was a
child when we started and is now my crew chief he
devotes his time to the dragster, my younger son Sam
and daughter Kerry are both there when I need their
support. Then my crew, I have the best crew I could
ever have, they are all dedicated, have great humour
and expertise when dealing with the car in all
Rod – When we moved from Pulling to Drag Racing I think one of the toughest things to accept, rather than learn was the fantastic support and help that we were given by otherteams, everybody wanted to see you do well. Obviously the other thing different to learn was the light tree, starting your run on a series of lights rather than a flag still causes frustrations.
Quick Drive Racing – Karl, If your father handed over the steering wheel to you I am sure you would absolutely tear up the field. Is that an option for the future or even a 2 car team?
Photo credit unknown
1 on 1 with UK powerhouse "The Harrisons" and their NUA RKS Drag Racing powered Top Alcohol Dragster
Photo credit @ Mark Skinner
Photo credit @ Mark Skinner
Photo credit @ Callum Pudge
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Photo credit @ Callum Pudge
Quick Drive Racing– If you have read some of the other interviews I have done you will have seen this next question pop up from time to time. The youth of drag racing are obviously the key to keeping this great sport going. Rod can you give them a piece of advice that maybe you learned throughout your career?
Rod– My advice to any person who would like to go drag racing is to find a class that suits your budget and go for it, " you only have one life....live it"
Quick Drive Racing – We definitely have some odd pre-race rituals in our sport. Can you both break the secret on what you might do before making a pass.
Rod– The main ritual we have is my wife Kim always passes my gloves, balaclava and helmet to me and then secures me into the car.
Karl – I don't have a ritual as such more a procedure. I always go down to look at the track when we are in the pairing lanes. My last words to Dad before we fire up are "you happy" and "do your own thing "that's probably the closet thing I have to a ritual, other than that I'm generally looking over the car and checking everything is good to
go for another 5 second pass.
Quick Drive Racing – Karl you are a guy that seems to know the Quick Drive inside and out. Can you tell us about some of your experiences since putting the unit in your dragster? (Operation of the unit to customer service. This will be deleted)
Karl – The biggest thing for me has been how little maintenance is required between rounds but when it does need servicing it's very easy to strip and rebuild. For example we had to replace the transbrake clutch pack at the last event; it was stripped, cleaned and rebuilt in less than 45 minutes. We didn't miss a run then ran our best speed which was a 234mph, I really like the air operated transbrake feature on the Quick Drive unit. As for product support and help it's been superb! Without the help and advice we have had from the guys at Quick Drive, I know we wouldn't have done as well as what we have done this year so, thank you!
Quick Drive Racing– Rod (Driver/Dad) you have been around high horsepower machines for a longtime. Can you tell us when you became hooked to racing in general?
Rod - Yes I started a new job in 1983 as a welding rep for a welding company, when visiting one of my new customers on a farm I saw this machine in his workshop and that turned out to be a Tractor Puller and it all progressed from there.
Quick Drive Racing– Rod (Driver/Dad), In the
US we all love going to a good ole Tractor Pull
Competition. Can you tell us 1 of your favorite
moments running those beasts called tractors?
Rod - I have two personal memories, the first
was doing my first run with a blown engine and
the second was watching my wife, Kim, being the
first female to drive a Tractor Puller in Ahoy
Stadium in Rotterdam.
Quick Drive Racing– Karl (Tuner/Son), tell us about the early years of when you began to show an interest in tuning cars?
Karl – I never really had a first job. I was very fortunate to be able to spend countless hours in the garage with my dad as young boy learning the engineering side of things whether it was tractor pullers, drag cars or anything else. I started working on engines when I was 15 or 16, again I was very lucky to be able to spend a lot of time with a great friend named Jeff bull. Jeff is one of the best engine builders in the UK/Europe. He took me under his wing and taught me how to prepare and build high quality race engines. I also spent a lot of time at Post & Dros racing engines in the Netherlands. Egbert Dros taught me a huge amount about dual systems and superchargers. The rest I had learned myself through listening, talking to people and absorbing all of the information.
Manea Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom - This week we headed across the pond to talk with Quick Drive clients and huge supporters of what we do back here in the states. The Father Son duo of Rod Harrison (driver) and his son Karl Harrison (Tuner) have been around high horsepower machines for many years. It all began in the Tractor Pull ranks where they won many championships throughout the 25 year career. Jumping ship from Tractor Pull in 2006 the team has turned the NUA RKS Drag Racing team into a heavy hitter in the Top Alcohol Dragster series. Thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit about our friends in the UK.