Interviews

From Dark Horse to Contender, Rob Harrison Scores Top-Five Points Finish

With a couple decent runs at the beginning of the Outlaw Midgets presented by Canadian Tire Innisfil season, Rob Harrison put himself in the conversation as one of the dark horses of the division. Though by the final checkered flag of the year, he established himself as a credible top-five threat.

“It was a season of firsts and bunch of rookies and a season that would come down to the wire,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “We had a bad injury a few weeks before opening season and would have to sit out opening night at Sunset – broke my heart and I knew we would have to kick butt all season to play catch up in points.”

Harrison climbed his way back up the standings, scoring a fourth-place points finish with just two results outside of the top-five in the final eight races of 2022.

“(My) favourite moment of the season was another first,” he shared. “Racing at Grand Bend (Speedway) and winning my first heat race, followed up a few weeks later and finishing 2nd at Sauble in the feature. Anytime you can make podium against the class of racers in this class, you seriously have to be happy.”

Staying happy seems to always be the name of the game in the No. 46 in the pits, as Harrison admits they are about having fun on a weekly basis. Though if he wanted the performance to improve, he joked he’d “have to steal Jessica (James)’s car and take Diane (Tyo)’s radio away.”

The fun should continue going into 2023, as Harrison revealed the Hooligan team will be expanding.

“I’m super excited to pass them every time out,” he commented. “Every season we just go out to have fun but you always want to win. We almost have this Outlaw figured out and are finishing up top every night out – so more podium finishes is our goal this season.”

There will also be eyes on his niece Kayla, who just completed her first full-time racing season with seven top-10 finishes.

“This girl has no fear and for the youngest girl to ever run an Outlaw Midget, (she) made us old guys look bad,” Harrison shared. “Mid season, she wrecked hard at Sunset in practice – and when I say wrecked hard, I mean stopped my heart hard. She was like, ‘Ouch, that hurt. Can we fix my car?’ She is awesome and I can’t be any prouder racing against her.

“So this upcoming season I have my amazing crew chief and Kayla’s car owner / father joining us on the track.”

For Harrison, racing has been something he has been doing for a number of years, beginning behind the wheel of a Thunder Car at Sunset Speedway 30 years ago. There’s been a lot of memories made over that time, and it’s why Harrison took a moment in think of those we’ve lost in saying, “It’s not goodbye …. It’s catch ya on the next lap…..”

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