APBA Nationals Winner Gary Harris Talks With E-NATION
Coming off his huge win with a record breaking performance, Gary Harris took time to talk about his racing career and his experience with the Evinrude E-TEC technology. Gary and his wife took a tour of the BRP-Evinrude headquarters last year after experiencing the Evinrude E-TEC performance and all of the success it brought him. Needless to say, Gary is a huge fan of Evinrude, and we wanted to hear why.
What are your greatest racing accomplishments?
I’d have to say setting a new world record in Florida in 2006, winning the A.P.B.A. North America Championship, and winning High Points 2011. Also, winning the 2012 Nationals in Kankakee, IL and setting two new world records in New Martinsville, WV.
How did you get into racing?
I started racing in 1972 in OPC classes on and off.
What do you enjoy most about racing?
I like meeting new people at boat shows, attending various events, and visiting trade schools where I can answer questions about my boat and the Evinrude E-TEC engine.
What is the most difficult part of racing?
The Logistics: getting things ready for lake testing, getting time off from the job to race, finding hotels, and keeping the truck ready for long trips.
Which race stands out in your mind as your favorite and why?
I would say winning The APBA Nationals in Kankakee this year. I have raced there many times, but I always had bad luck with holes in the boat, crashes, etc; I always placed 2nd or 3rd.
Have you always had an Evinrude?
Is it true that you started winning once you got the 150HP Evinrude E-TEC engine?
In light of your wins and records, do you think your competition may turn to the Evinrude E-TEC?
Yes, they say “I need to get one of those Evinrude E-TEC motors!”
What is the most dangerous situation you have experienced while racing?
There was a day in 1975 when the boat rolled over in a test run and got stuck upside down. I could not get out. Luckily, there was a safety boat near and they dove underwater and got me out. I almost didn’t make it that day and I remember having an out-of-body experience seeing my mother crying on shore – I still remember… Today, I have a scuba air system in the boat.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in SuperSport racing?
Well, I started going to races in my home town at a young age and I talked with drivers to learn about the sport. I did yard work to make enough money to buy my first 8 foot race boat. Today, my website and American Power Boat Association have drivers school info for new drivers.
You took a tour of the Evinrude plant last year. What stood out to you?
The BIG BRP WELCOME my wife and I received at the main gate was great! Everything in the factory was so clean, and I loved the the way that BRP builds all of the various engines on the same assembly line to increase efficiency. The time your staff spent with me and my wife was much appreciated, and I’m happy that we race and own the Evinrude E-TEC engine.
Thank You Again!
What made you choose Evinrude?
When I bought the boat from another racer that was moving to different class, it had an old Evinrude engine. I called Evinrude and said I was going for a new kilo record in 2006 and I wanted to do it with the Evinrude E-TEC engine. They sent me a motor from Florida to test and I was impressed with the Evinrude E-TEC power and performance. The next year, I got a call from Rob at Boat Wrench in Orlando, and we worked out an awesome deal for a new 150 Evinrude E-TEC engine.