In memory of one of the most exciting Drag racers from Western Canada

 

 

We have decided on this decal (above in memory of Brent). They will be available at all events. As you can see in the Obituary, donations can also be sent to "Ride to conquer Cancer" (link above) as Sharon will be riding in it this summer. But in Sharon's reply email to me regarding the decals and where to send the proceeds to she said "Brent was a huge supporter of "Stollery Children's Hospital" and would be proud to have proceeds from the decals go the Stollery" . DECAL SALES INFO IS POSTED ON SPEEDZONE'S HOME PAGE. SO FAR WE HAVE SOLD 125 DECALS SO JUST OVER 140.00 HAS BEEN RAISED.

Two videos of Brent.

 

 

Brent Harris 1951?-2014 (he was 63 we think)

This short video sums up Brent's driving perfectly. He was even relaxed after it.

 
Brent Harris (AA/Supercharged Gasser) Burnout almo

 

 

For any friends pplanning on attending the Celebration of life for Brent in June, if you have photos you want on display at the celebration email them to
mbrennan@premayequipment.com, Or mail them to Premay. Attention Melissa. Please ask that they provide a return address if they plan on mailing in pics and to write their name on the back.

May 2, 2014

Brent and his 1000 Watt smile will be missed more as a younger brother than nephew. In mind a constant thought, In heart a silent sorrow. Till we meet again, I love you.----- Auntie Faye

***

May 1st, 2014

(more photos to come)

The Greatest Gasser Guy On The Planet!
We totally enjoyed all our time racing, partying and hanging out with Brent.

Brent Getting Ready @ the Hot Rod Reunion, Bakersfield / Computer Guy (Dwayne Schmidek), LB (Larry Brown), Brent Harris


So many great memories and pictures over the years on the 33 willy's team crewing.

Crew working on Car in Edmonton WarZone (Warren Harris), Brent, Computer Guy(Dwayne Schmidek)

There was no greater feeling then getting Brent to the line and watching him thrill the crowd and do what he truly loved. As long as we were having fun, Brent was happy.

LB (Larry Brown), Andy Man (Andy Lypowy), Brent Harris, Computer Guy (Dwayne Schmidek)

 

 

Computer Guy & Sandybabe, Shantel, Tyler.
We love you Brent.--- The Schmidek's

***

I first started watching Brent race in Edmonton in the mid to late 90's and always rushed up to watch him make a pass because I really liked the Willys and he was a true driver and would never "waste" a pass even if the car was right sideways! I spoke with him a few times in the pits and he always had time to talk and joke around with a young guy looking to get into the sport. I got to know him more when we started racing at the Langley Loafers nostalgia events in Ashcroft and Mission,BC. My first Loafers race was in Ashcroft in 2006 or so and I was needing to upgrade to an Advanced ET license so I needed a racer to sign the forms..... I walked up to Brent and to be honest was a little nervous to ask because he was busy working on his car but I asked and he smiled and yelled "YES thats awsome" before I could finish my sentence.

He came over to my pit cheering after my final upgrade pass and he was genuinely excited for me. Back at one of the Mission Loafers races Brent broke a blower belt that then split the fuel tank turning his car into a huge fireball and was done for the weekend. I stopped by right after to check on Brent and see the damages.... Brent just laughed and said "Whoa that was a warm one..... want a beer hahahaha"

RIP Brent you will be missed.---Tavis MacDonell

***

April 30, 2014

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Speedzone for setting up this memorial for my brother Brent. Every year I would drive from Ontario to Alberta, hook up with Brent and then we would head for Mission BC for the Langley Loafers Old Time Drags. This trip was my annual vacation for 12 years in a row. I looked forward to the trip every year to not only spend time with my brother, but to also renew old friendships with the people of the racing community that Brent so loved. It means so much to see the tributes, stories and pictures honoring Brent and I thank each of you for taking the time to contribute. Brent would be proud.---Brian Harris

***

Brent Harris will always be remembered for his big smile and outgoing personality. He was a unique person that could make friends where ever he went. We met many years ago both sharing our passion for cars, and later drag racing. Brent had his 33 Willy's that evolved over the years, it seemed like the car seldom made a clean straight pass and that is how Brent liked it. I remember sitting in my car right behind Brent at the 2004 Rocky Mtn. race, he did a burn out and just about put his car on its roof.

The usual wild wheels up launch here against Joey Steckler at the Rocky Mountain Nationals in 2009

He backed the car up and made a straight pass and when I asked him about almost crashing his car he just smiled and said it was no big deal. Brent and I matched raced our cars for a few years throughout B.C and Alberta, it was always an adventure that left the rest of us worn out and exhausted after every weekend. A few years later Brent told me he was happy I came along because everyone else was afraid to race him and I didn't know any better. Brent and I attended many of the Hot Rod Reunion races in Bakersfield and I will always remember being at the Double Tree Hotel for an outdoor race car display when a TV crew walked up to me and asked for an interview . I looked over at my friend Brent who was being Brent telling a bunch of Americans how we do things in Canada and I told the TV guy to go and interview that guy instead. John Force could not have been funnier, Brent had everyone sore from laughing. He explained why we Canadians would go so far to race and then asked what their problem was with our Albert Beef which was banned at that time. I was told that his interview later made the evening news in Bakersfield. Brent and I raced every chance we had especially qualifying for the Rocky's and the Hot Aug. night's races.

Here they battled in 2008

Our cars were both painted similar and it just seemed natural even trying to pit together when we could. One of the many great things about Brent was he was your friend in the staging lanes and no matter the outcome of the race he always had that big smile and enthusiasm when he got out of his car at the top end. Brent seemed to live life like he did his racing, "Never Lift" and "Drive it Like you Stole it" . Brent will be forever missed and never forgotten. He was truly one of a kind.----Joey Steckler

April 29, 2014

Brent will be sadly missed by his uncle and aunt Orlo & Doreen

***

Brent was certainly the ‘cool’ older cousin. He would light up our grandparents faces when he made his visits to Milton. Of course his smile and stories were loved by all of us. Brent was the guy who you wanted to be around. To his Edmonton and Ontario families, my condolences. His smile will always be in our memories.---- Kelly Guard

***

April 28, 2014

Here is a banner the Gassers will display at all their events in 2014


***

When my little sister Sharon married my friend Brent Harris in August of 2011 I was one of happiest people in the world. The marriage was an intimate ceremony at their home in Vancouver with just a handful of us in attendance. Sharon first met Brent at Mission Raceway while visiting in my pit. I had just dropped a valve and in typical Brent style he was helping pull the heads. A year later Sharon and Brent began their relationship when they met again at our race here in Sharon's home town of Port Alberni. Our family just loved Brent and were absolutely delighted when two years later they married on the anniversary of their first date.

At Castrol


We spent many hours with the happy couple and Brent generously took us with him while he raced at the California Hot Rod Reunion. We made many great memories there and loved to meet his many friends and watch Brent pilot his famous Yellow 33 Willies on three wheels down the historic Famoso track.

With Ron York (Dyan's Partner) and Gary Teichrob


Sharon and Brent enjoyed their time together travelling and spending vacations at their home in Scottsdale, Arizona. We were fortunate to spend some time there with them last year where we enjoyed the pool and biking around the area on their new Victory motorcycles. Sharon and Brent had recently took up motor biking together and also had a pair of Harley's in Vancouver where they spent endless hours together riding and tinkering in the shop. Brent had become fairly domesticated in his final years and they both really enjoyed landscaping and renovating their homes together.

On Holidays in the Alberni Valley catching a big one...and that is no fish tail


Brent and Sharon spent many great times with us here at our home in Port Alberni. We took them camping on the remote West Coast beaches, salmon fishing down the canal, water skiing on Sproat Lake and of course white water river tubing down the mighty Stamp River where Brent once almost drowned but still approached every adventure with the energy and enthusiasm of a teenager. They loved the Valley in the summer and eventually purchased a country home on acreage down the road with plans to retire here part time. Unfortunately it was not to be. On April 26th Brent finally succumbed to the complications of throat cancer surgery after a rollercoaster three month battle in hospital.
I first met Brent shortly after the inception of Thunder in the Valley, a local drag race I help organize. Brent and his good friend Duane Grosart were the feature cars and Brent also generously donated two drums of VHT every year for the race. From the day I met Brent I knew he was special. Brent was one of the most genuine people you could ever meet. He was a jewel of a person who was always smiling, happy, boisterous and just plain happy to see or meet anyone he came into contact with. Brent treated everyone with kindness and respect and made everyone feel special with his attentive ways and infectious smile. The man radiated warm, no doubt about it. Brent said nothing bad about anyone and always looked for the best in people.
Brent loved his job and was a successful business man but like myself, Brent's passion was drag racing. We would spend endless hours storytelling, name dropping and sharing giggles. One of my most fond memories of times spent with Brent was the Sunday night after our local 2010 race. Unfortunately Gordie Bonin had just left but Twig Zeigler was staying the night so we all settled in for a big dinner on my rear deck. The beverages were flowing, the oldies were playing and the bench racing was second to none. It was a perfect evening with two of my favorites! It was also the 10th anniversary of Thunder in the Valley and in honor of both that and Twig, the usual generous Brent had designed hundreds of awesome T shirts with both his 33 Willy's and Twigs Satellite Nitro Funny Car to commemorate the event. Unbeknownst to most people Twig raced the 33 Willy's long before Brent owned it.

Sharon, Twig's Spouse Brent and Twig enjoying their time at Dyan and Ron's's place in Port Alberni


Brent was a true car guy. I was fortunate to visit his wicked "Man Cave" in Stony Plain a few times where I spent hours just reading his walls! His drag racing memorabilia collection was incredible, especially the AA Gasser items of which there were many. His car collection was similar and every year he when to the Scottsdale auctions we always wondered what he would be coming home with. Brent lived life to the fullest and lived, played and worked like he raced…hard and fast.

Brents close friends Larry, Wade and Eddie

Brent was a perfect and loving husband to my sister Sharon and they made many special memories during their short time together.
Yes…I was the happiest person in the world when Brent Harris married my sister and joined our family and as I write this in tears I am one of the most sad. To receive the news that Brent was losing his long battle was devastating to say the least.
My life was a happier one because Brent was a part of it and I will remain forever grateful for that. The family memories that we made can never be taken away.
Brent was one in a million and I was not only proud to call him my friend, he was my family. I will miss him forever and I will race, live by and remember Brent by the two words that he raced and lived by ..…"NEVER LIFT!"
----- Dyan Lover

April 27, 2014

 

Brent will be sadly missed he was a great person to be around always cheerful and smiling seemed to have a zest for life.----- Corrine and Ray Bussey

***

Brent was genuinely a people person, he always made time to say hello with that grin of having a good time. This is very sad news but always reminding us all to enjoy the moment because life can change quickly.....My thoughts are to the family and all of Brent's closest friends who will know that now he is in a better place.-----Al Haycraft

***

Very sad news today Brent Harris passed away this afternoon. He had been in the hospital since the last week of January He had an operation to have a Tumor removed from his throat and he had complications post operation. It was a roller coaster ride for Brent He would get better and then more complications would set in one step forward and two back He was back in ICU in the past couple of days due to his vital organs shutting down. Brent had enough of the drama And got mad and pulled off his life support system. The hospital staff knew he wouldn't last long without life support and today he passed away at about 2:20 PM. I am so sad about this. Brent was an awesome guy. He always had a big grin on his face any time I would run in to him he would shake my hand and say. " Jim how are you?" There is no doubt in my mind that this is the way Brent rolled with all of his many friends Brent was the REAL DEAL a genuine warm guy that that loved life. There are tears streaming down my face as i write my little tribute to Brent who was a very successful businessman and in his life had made hundreds and hundreds of friends in business and at the Race Track Brent drove the wheels off of his blown Willys race car and gave race fans lots of thrills as he drove his short wheel base Wiillys to record setting times at drag strips up and down the Pacific coast with his best friend and crew chief Larry Brown. We will all miss Brent. Rest in peace my friend and God Speed.----- Jim Bell

"In the staging lanes at MRP with all the Gassers"

***

Very sad to hear this news this morning. Brent was an awesome guy and a great racer. It was always great to see Brent, who was always one of the happiest guys at the track. I will always remember Brent sometimes getting way out of shape during a burnout on his short wheelbase Willys, and then backing up to make a perfect pass like nothing had happened...what a great showman and a crowd pleaser. He will be deeply missed. Rest in peace.------- Richard Morrison

***

Really sad to hear of Brent's passing. He was one of the real great guys in the sport. My favorite car bar none of the past 10 years.-----Bill Jeffery

***

Brent was a good friend i have known him over 25 years from when we lived in Ft McMurray. Me a young punk hot rodding apprentice and him starting into fast street cars, he had a real cool chev straight axle pick up with one of the first Holley injection systems it was pretty cool , he helped me build by first street car at 17 , my blown sbc 68 Camaro which i ended up storing at his place when i moved out to BC. When we built the motor he set me up with LB (Larry Brown) he was working at a speed shop in Edmonton, i remember when we hit the 400hp mark the whole shop gave a round of high fives it was pretty cool.I remember when he first bought the Willies i have a picture of it (i will send you a copy ) we then lost touch for a few years until i ran into him in Ashcroft one year it was the first time I had seen the Willys as a AA/Gas car we then stayed in touch from then on, Brent was one of a kind, i am going to miss him. --------- Simon Kingsley

Brent Harris and wife Sharon, Gary Tiechrob, Curley, Colton and Austin Wawryk Larry Brown at the Eagle Motorplex.

Brent (back row) with Sharon and Curley, front is Friend Darrell Webb and wife Leslie.

I have known Brent for more than 15 years. My first meetings with him were as a writer and photographer. My first impressions were of a racer who identified with the fans and was very approachable. He ended up being close friends and racing rivals with local racers Duane Grosart and Trevor Lowe, and whenever the three raced at Mission or Ashcroft they all pitted together. Carla Snyder and Duane introduced me to Brent and an immediate friendship was formed. Their pit area was always alive with friendly banter and after racing antics. Brent was a fearless racer that was always looking for ways to excite the fans. His burnouts were seldom boring as his short wheel-based Willys was always on Edge and many times on two tires, and not just the two rears. His launches were epic as the car always picked up the front wheels and then at the shirt the left front picked back up for 200-500 feet on his way to a 6 second 200 mph run. He always had the best equipment and wasn't afraid to run it as hard as he could to get the win light. His best year was in 2009 where he was the runner-up at the Langley Loafers Old time drags at Mission Raceway (scroll down the link above). The Saturday night Aug 1st headline at SpeedZone Magazine was:

August 1, 2009

"Saturday qualifying at Mission for the Loafers event was exciting to say the least. Canadian Brent Harris goes 206 and runs a career best 6.817 to qualify #2. Gary Reniero is #1 with a 6.739."

Brent and Gary Reniero

The last few years his racing was cut back mostly due to the politics running in the AA/GS class (It was dropped by the NHRA Heritage series due to complaints and rules issues brought forth when another Canadian team, the Davenport/Kaplan started dominating the class, and other teams complained. Notable in this was the fact that Les Davenport and his assoc. Sean Brown were assisting Brent in his tune-up and helped Brent bring his deal to the next level of performance).

That did not really matter though because he made sure he always ran at Mission, Ashcroft and one of his favorite stops, Port Alberni, for 'Thunder in the Valley'.

What a cool shot at Port Alberni

It was there that he met his wife Sharon, sister of drag racing fanatic Dyan Lover. One year, around four years ago, I was not sure if I was going to make it to Port Alberni due to a waning budget and somehow he found out. He called me and said get your ass over here, we need you and Speedzone here to cover the event.

Running good friend Duane Grosart

Bring your family and I will take care of everything. I was blown away! From then on he always made sure I was at Port Alberni (also thanks to ADRA). He even helped sponsor two of my trips to Edmonton for the Rocky Mountain Shoot-out and made sure my family was part of that as well.

He blacktracked here at PA for 1000 feet (you can see the tracks)

His best ever weekend AA/GS racing

He was that kind of guy! Brent was someone who just wanted to race his car and have fun. He even has competed with the Rocky Mountain Nostalgia Funny Car group against the floppers, he raced with Twig Zeigler (Nitro Funny Car) at Port Alberni and competed against Pro Mods whenever he had the chance. The last run I saw Brent make was one the scariest I have ever seen, as his car got way out of shape halfway down track at Edmonton. "It even scared him a bit", he said later.

His last ever run was a wild one, you can see here he was out of the groove and when he past the grandstands on this windy day the car shot to the barrier. He still ran a low 7 @ over 190 mph

He kept his Willy's sold the powerplant, but 2013 was the first year he did not compete. Coincidently, his close buddy Duane also did not compete in the 2013 season. In January, Brent went into hospital for Cancer surgery, and had had various complications from then until now. When I first heard he was in the hospital it was not an easy task to get all the info. Brent did not want media exposure and wanted to get this taken care of and then go on with a normal life. It was just a hiccup in his opinion. Unfortunately it was not to be, and in the end he wanted to go out without fanfare and prolonged issues.

Brent will be sadly missed by many in the racing community, and his legacy will be one of speed, squirrelly burnouts, fun, generosity, and friendship. RIP Brent. ------Dean Murdoch

Here with buddys Duane, Johnny West and Jeff Hill looking at his time slip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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