Driver-builder-owner is unusual


August 14, 1994|By STAN DILLON

There aren't many people in stock car racing like Tim "Butch" Harvey. The 32-year-old Westminster native is one of a diminishing few in his sport who can do it all.

In addition to driving, Harvey is a car builder and car owner.

Harvey competes in the thundercar division at Trail-Way and Lincoln speedways in Hanover, Pa. It is a good division for drivers who want to get started in racing or for those who just want to race for a hobby. For Harvey, it is both.

Harvey comes from a family that's been involved in racing for more than 30 years. He jokes that he was almost born at Lincoln Speedway because his mother went into labor at the track.

TC His father, Tim Harvey of Upperco, has owned cars off and on since Butch was born. Recently, he purchased a new late-model chassis, which means he may be back in racing before long.

Butch's uncle, Robert "Bones" Harvey, is part of the Glen Falls Racing Team that fields a late model driven by Ray Kable Jr. of Owings Mills. Butch's brother, Eric, is part of the team and also helps Butch when he can.

Butch Harvey has driven just about everything on a clay oval. He drove his father's late model a few times and looks forward to driving in that class again. But the expense of racing a late model has kept him from that goal.

Harvey started racing regularly five years ago in the enduro street-stock division at Trail-Way. Last year, he raced a Dodge Challenger that he built in the four-cylinder division. No stranger to building cars, Harvey built a Ford Maverick during the off-season and switched to the faster eight-cylinder thundercar division.

"The four-cylinders weren't fast enough," said Harvey. "So I decided to move up. I decided to build a Ford, since there aren't many there of them."

Building cars is not new for him. He has built cars for almost every division. He has cars in street stock, four-cylinders and semi-late divisions that run at Selinsgrove and Port Royal speedways in north-central Pennsylvania as well as the local tracks. Most of them have been in victory lane this season.

Harvey's season in a new car started out as expected. There were a lot of bugs to take care of. Harvey had to do a lot of trial and error to get his car handling right, plus he had to adapt to a bigger and faster car. It was quite different from the four-cylinder car he drove last year.

"The thundercars are a lot easier to drive than the four-cylinders," he said. "In the four-cylinders, the tires are not as large and you are always driving on the edge. With the tires and the short wheelbase, a little bump and you are gone. With the thundercars, you have more time to react."

Recently, looking for ways to improve the car's handling, Harvey changed the rear springs. After one night out at Lincoln, he thinks that the car is ready to go.

"Another driver suggested that I install Landrum springs on the rear," said Harvey. "It made a big difference. It felt like going from riding a motorcycle on flats to a Cadillac. The forward bite was unbelievable."

Harvey's wife Susan enjoys the races as much as he does. She attends every race and takes their two children, Rachel and David, with them to Trail-Way. She also rides with him when he competes in the junk-yard races at Trail-Way.

In addition to his wife, Harvey's pit crew includes Tim Hahn, Bryan Trimmel, Jason Voshburg of Westminster, Paul Heinline of Reisterstown and Eric Harvey.

Weekend results

Last weekend, Brad McClelland of Westminster traveled to Challenger Raceway in Jacksonville, Pa., and won the S&T micro-sprint feature. McClelland started 21st in the 24-car field and took the lead on the seventh lap and ran unchallenged the rest of the way for the win. Dave Parrish of Westminster was ninth.

Carroll County drivers did well at 75-80 Dragway. On Friday night, Roger Jorss of Westminster won Class II. Sam Battaglia of Taneytown and Steve Cavey of Westminster went five rounds. Mike Stambaugh of Union Bridge and Steve Hoff of Sykesville went four rounds. In Class I competition, Bill Henry of Mount Airy went to the semifinals. Woodbine's Dave Wilson and Ray Lewis went five rounds.

Carroll County drivers continued their domination Saturday night, Joe Mayne of Mount Airy won Class I and Chuck Taylor of Westminster was a semifinalist. Tim Peters of Westminster won four rounds, and his brother Dave won three rounds. In Class II action, Scott Lowman of Woodbine won five rounds, and Larry Hoff of Westminster won four rounds. Steve Cavey and Steve Dustin of Westminster were three-round winners. Norman Wagner of Hampstead won the motorcycle competition.

At Mason Dixon Dragway Sunday, George Hoff won Class II.

At Winchester Speedway, Rick Jones of Westminster finished third in the late-model feature, and his brother Ernie had an eighth-place finish. At Hagerstown Speedway, Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead was third in his best finish of the season and Gary Stuhler of Westminster was sixth.

At Lincoln Speedway, Mark Shorb of Westminster was 10th in the thundercar feature.

Luke Dempsey of Westminster was second in the Jr. Novice division in quarter-midget action.

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