Leading stock car racer Tom Harris will represent the United Kingdom overseas as he embarks on a campaign in the famed US Sprint Cars category.
The 26 year old from Oxfordshire has already made his mark on the British scene, winning the BriSCA F1 Stock Cars World Final in 2013, but this year will herald an entirely new challenge.
Harris has purchased a Bob East chassis that will be entered in three rounds of the July USAC Sprint Week, part of the Amsoil National Sprint Championship, before tackling a further six USAC-sanctioned events later in the month. In January he took part in the annual Chili Bowl indoor event, the pinnacle of sprint car racing, beating former NASCAR great Kenny Wallace in his heat. For Harris, the Chili Bowl was the start of a wider vision in terms of the expansion of his sprint car racing career.
“From the test in late 2014 and then the Chili Bowl, we’ve seen the huge opportunities available to forge a professional career in the US,” said Harris. “We’ve reached the limit in what we can do build-wise with the cars in UK and we have won nearly every title as a driver or constructor. Now we move on and take on the best the rest of the world has to offer.”
Harris’ career started as any other young stock car racer’s would, in the Ministox category. Making regular appearances at speedways across the UK, Harris quickly made a name for himself as a rapid young driver that had the potential to succeed on the global stage.
He made the natural transition to F1 Stock Cars in 2010 and has held titles on national, continental and global levels. Therefore, the logical step was to move west, into a territory barely explored by British stock car competitors.
“We talked at the start of the year about making the switch to racing in the US as the best way to progress my career. We’ve won pretty much everything we can here in the UK and had to stop talking and just do it,” he said. “After working well with Bob East at the Chili Bowl, it was the right move to continue that relationship and we will run the car with a British crew from his workshop. There is a lot to learn but with Bob guiding us, we will get to grips with it quickly.”
East is one of the most eminent chassis builders in the United States, and has designed cars for use in the highest midget racing formulae. Having East on his side will allow Harris to advance quickly in a notoriously tough racing environment.
Harris’ stateside programme gets underway on July 10 at Gas City, Indiana. Races at Kokomo (July 11) and Lawrenceburg will complete his Sprint Week schedule, before he takes part in further national-level races later in the month. Harris will continue to race in the UK during the summer, as he bids for a second BriSCA F1 World title.