Advancing to his third final round in four races, Pro Mod’s Keith Haney knew he needed to finish the job and he turned in a clutch performance at his home track to win the second race of the Osage Hotel Casino Throwdown in T-Town for the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service.
Haney picked up his first win of the season, knocking off Jim Whiteley in the final round at Tulsa Raceway Park to finish off an impressive weekend in style.
Also picking up wins to cap off the second race of the Throwdown in T-Town was Chris Marshall (Top Alcohol Funny Car), Rodney Frazier (Race Star Wheels Top Dragster), Lance Abbott (Pat Musi Racing Engines Top Sportsman), Ron Muenks (Pro Mod Slammers), Colt Saum (Summit Racing Pro Jr.) and Karlee Brundidge (Zimmerman Properties Construction Sportsman Jr.).
Haney went 3.671-seconds at 207.37 mph in his nitrous-powered “Black Mamba” Camaro, leading start-to-finish against Whiteley’s 3.687 at 202.91. It was a rewarding finish for Haney, who moved to third in points, to grab the victory after coming close at two previous events in the past month.
“I’m just on cloud nine,” Haney said. “The last four races, we’ve been to three finals, one of which we won, and one semifinal. That’s a testament to the team and the tuner, Brandon Switzer. It was just an amazing weekend. To do it at my home track, it was awesome and the fans were just amazing here.”
After advancing to the semifinals at Friday’s first race, Haney was the top qualifier heading into Saturday with a strong run of 3.678 at 206.35. After a first-round win, Haney went 3.689 at 206.20 and then picked up a key holeshot win against Ed Thornton, who went 3.681 at an eye-popping 221.49. Haney, though, was .031 on the starting line, allowing his 3.695 at 206.23 to hold up and send him to another final round.
In the final round, Haney was first off the starting line, culminating in a huge weekend for Haney, who trails Whiteley and points leader Joey Oksas heading into the final race. Oksas had won three straight races before falling in the second round on Saturday.
“I was ready and the team was ready,” Haney said. “It was all about consistency in the car and staying consistent on the tree. The track was on kill and everyone went fast this weekend. That track was rolling and the team stayed focused and came away with a victory. It was a great weekend and we were going to get in two races no matter what it took.”
In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Marshall finished off an incredible weekend in Tulsa by knocking off points lead and defending world champ Sean Bellemeur in the final round with a massive blast of 3.580 at 213.06 in the final round. Bellemeur left first with a stellar .008 reaction time, but slowed to a 3.826 as Marshall pulled to less than 40 points out of first with his first victory this season and second in his MWDRS career.
After falling to Bellemeur on a holeshot in the final round of the first race of the Throwdown in T-Town on Friday, Marshall stayed on point and finished the job the next day.
“That felt really good. I did a bad job in Martin, losing in the first round, so I knew it was imperative to win one of these two races,” Marshall said. “It ended on a really good note and performance-wise, I was really proud of what we were able to do. We strive to run as fast as we can and I’m really happy with what we were able to do. It’s going to come down to the last race now and at least I’ve got a chance, so that’s exciting.”
Marshall qualified No. 1 with a solid 3.607 at 213.54, earning a first-round bye. He went 3.662 at 211.53 to defeat Bill Bernard, setting up a second final round matchup with Bellemeur in as many days. Knowing he needed something big against the defending champ, Marshall dipped into the 3.50s, making the quickest run of the weekend at the Throwdown in T-Town.
An aggressive approach is the hallmark for Marshall and he knew a near-flawless track at Tulsa Raceway Park would allow him to push the envelope.
“The Mid-West Drag Racing Series gives you a fast track and I just have to pick away at it,” Marshall said. “The credit goes to them and everyone at Tulsa for giving us such a great track. We hit it right in the final and we had to against Sean because he’s a killer. He’s the guy to beat and the best on the tree, but when it’s your day, it’s your day. Sometimes it goes your way and that makes you appreciate it more when it is.”
Frazier knocked off Anita Strasburg in the final round in Top Dragster. In Top Sportsman, Abbott knocked off Michael Chitty in the championship round.
Saum went 7.911 in Pro Jr. to earn the victory and Brundidge picked up the win by going 8.973 in Sportsman Jr.
The Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service caps off its 2021 season with the MWDRS Xtreme Texas World Finals on Oct. 22-23 at Xtreme Raceway Park in Ferris, Texas.