No one has ever accused a dirt stock car racetrack to be the ideal place to fall in love, but for Patrick Harvie of Great Falls, it was the ideal place to propose to his girlfriend, Samantha Mason.

After all, they met at the track one year ago this past Saturday.

And that’s what he did during Friday night’s intermission at Electric City Speedway. The PA announcer called Samantha down to the flag stand, and Patrick drove to the finish line with his number 18 WISSOTA Midwest Modified car.

Attached to the right side of the car was a banner – made by Gusto Distributing – emblazoned with the sentence: “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”

Of course, he had to get out of the car, drop to one knee and present Samantha with an engagement ring. Oh, and pop the question (officially).

She said yes.

“I definitely did (say) yes,” Samantha said. “I’m just a little bit surprised.

“We’re going to be happy.”

“You never know how much I tick her off during the week,” Harvie, who has been racing since age 14, said. He’s 27 now.

Truly, it was an exciting day for Harvie. “I think the butterflies are almost worse than racing. I’ve had butterflies all day today.

“I couldn’t have picked a better night; I just didn’t realize it was sprint car night, and there’s (a lot) of people up there in the stands,” Harvie, who is a tad on the bashful side, said prior to the event. “I told her a while back that if I ever do propose to you, and it’s in front of a lot of people, you can at least say ‘yes’, and then tell me ‘no’ later.

“That way I won’t feel so bad about it.”

Now, despite being married for almost a quarter century, your humble scribe isn’t…