Mike Harmon: Help from teams ‘heartwarming’ after race car, trailer theft
The last few nights have been hard for Mike Harmon to “get good rest.”
Since early Sunday, he and his Xfinity Series team have tried to find their truck and trailer that were stolen from a Cracker Barrel parking lot in Kingsland, Georgia.
Inside the trailer was one of the team’s six race cars, a pit box, team radios and tools. According to a police report, the estimated cost of the stolen property was $400,000.
“It’s already tough enough coming from Daytona and having to be at Dover on Friday morning,” Harmon told NBC Sports on Wednesday, not long after the reward for info on the stolen property was raised to $10,000. “You also have it going on in your head, ‘Where is my stuff? Are they going to find it? What kind of shape is it going to be in?’ You can’t get good rest, cause you can’t get your mind off of it. It’s a big, big, big, hinderance. But you can’t survive in this business by not being strong. But we’re strong enough to do it and we will do it. It’s tough enough without having unnecessary stuff like this happen.”
The race car that was in the stolen trailer was the No. 47 Chevrolet Kyle Weatherman drove to a 17th-place finish Saturday on the Daytona road course. While it was a road course specific car, Harmon said it had “our best parts on it that we interchange every week. Its carburetor, shocks, sway bar, stuff like that. The seat insert for the driver.”
Three days after the theft, Harmon said there’s “not very many” leads in the search, outside security camera footage taken from the Cracker Barrel that showed the pickup truck and trailer being taken.
“I’m doing a little bit better each day, but I don’t know how to describe it, it’s a different feeling than I’ve ever had,” Harmon said. “So many people are searching for it, (but) haven’t really turned up anything yet.”
Making it easier for Harmon’s team to compete in this weekend’s Dover doubleheader weekend are his fellow NASCAR competitors.
Harmon said it’s been “heartwarming” to receive aid from team owners Rick Ware and Johnny Davis and Josh Reaume. Ware has provided a truck and hauler. Davis has chipped in tire and gas can carts, while Reaume has contributed a fuel cell and driver seat.
“It really helps out because we’d all do the same for each other,” Harmon said. “I’m sure we’re not done yet, but that’s to name a few.”
After the Dover weekend, the team will have to travel back south to Daytona for the Aug. 28 race on the Daytona oval.
What precautions will Harmon take when traveling between races now?
“Well, I’m going to make sure we got a GPS locator on it, that’s for sure,” Harmon said. “I wasn’t actually with them when it got stolen. I stayed back in Daytona and I was meeting the guys the next morning. I told them I didn’t want them to drive sleepy, because you know how dangerous that is. ... I wish we had done it different, but we didn’t.”
Harmon doesn’t believe the culprits knew what they had on their hands when they pulled away.
When asked if he wished he could have seen their face when they opened the trailer, Harmon laughed.
“Well, I wish I could have seen them,” Harmon said. “I’m pretty sure my hands would be pretty beat up now. That’s for sure.”
#NEW Security video from the Kingsland Police showing @MhrRacing race car and trailer stolen from a parking lot around 5:55am Sunday. First video grainy, second video clearly shows truck. $5,000 reward offered. @FOX46News #NASCAR @KyleWeatherman— Brett Baldeck (@BrettBaldeck) August 18, 2020
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