A personal best run of 3.65 seconds at 206.83 mph during testing last Thursday night at Bradenton Motorsports Park made the long trek to South Florida more than worthwhile for Keith Haney. That he followed up by remaining solidly in the .60s throughout qualifying and two rounds of Outlaw Pro Mod eliminations left him feeling very positive about the racing that lies ahead this year.
“Thirteen times down the racetrack and we aborted just one run, that was it, and that one was shaping up to be our fastest run ever,” the Tulsa-based new car dealer said of his second qualifying attempt. “We’d probably have went a .63 or .64, but I had the wheels turned a little and when the front end come down it loaded the chassis and I had to lift. It still run a .77, so you know it was on another great one.”
After officially placing 12th in a 32-car field for the U.S. Street Nationals with a 3.68 at 205.76-mph combo, Haney and his nitrous-fed “Black Mamba” 2019 Camaro faced off against the supercharged ’69 Chevelle of Jerico Balduf in Saturday night’s lone round of racing and took the win with a 3.67 at 206.16-mph pass.
That advanced him to Sunday morning’s action, where he ran 3.69 at 205.51 to fall just short of Kurt Steding and his screw-blown 2020 Camaro an eighth of a mile later.
“Of course we would’ve liked to race longer, but all in all the team did a great job,” Haney stated. “My guys, Shane Goodnight, Dale and Cale Hancock, Steve Cooks, and of course my tuner, Brandon Switzer, they all did a great job and I’m proud of every one of them.
“You know, Brandon was tuning four cars (at Bradenton) and every one of them qualified. Us of course, and Mike Achenbach, Chris Rini and then Jim Halsey, who also went on and won the race, so I just want to congratulate Brandon and thank him for getting us to where we are.
“Not a lot of people know this, but after we got the car back from Bickel, it went to Brandon’s shop in North Carolina where he completely went through it, made some chassis adjustments, reset some weight distributions and all kinds of things like that.”
Haney also took a moment to acknowledge the family, friends and co-workers of Daniel “Chaps” Stone, a Bradenton Motorsports Park employee who lost his life in a Friday-night accident at the track.
“Everyone on our team was shocked and saddened by what happened and we all want to offer sincere condolences to his family and everyone who knew him,” Haney said. “We had Ellen (Eshenbacher, KHR public relations) at the track with us and she went around and collected donations and last I saw on her Facebook page she’d collected about $18,000 for the family.”
Keith Haney Racing will be back in action Mar. 19-21, for the 2021 Summit Racing Mid-West Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service season opener at Xtreme Raceway Park in Ferris, TX.