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Keith Haney Racing Overcomes Throttle Linkage, Line-Lock Wire Breakage on His Way to the MWDRS Summer Smackdown Semifinals

After winning the season opener at Osage Casino & Hotel Tulsa Raceway Park, Keith Haney and team arrived at the new Flying H Dragstrip prepared to continue their run towards a repeat Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series Pro Mod Class Championship.

Testing on Friday went well, with competitive passes and no issues. As Haney was midway through the first run of qualifying on Friday night, the throttle linkage broke, resulting in a 3.877 pass, making him the seventh qualifier. With rain setting in, the rest of qualifying would have to wait until Saturday morning. 

For Saturday qualifying, the team was first to the lanes, ready to move up the ladder. But, the line lock button wire had another idea – as Haney staged, the wire broke and he rolled the beams, resulting in a red light start, therefore locking in his 3.877 E.T. Through round two of qualifying, four racers put up quicker times, pushing Haney and the Black Mamba to eleventh for round one of eliminations. 

During round one, Haney paired against No. 6 qualifier Tony “Sandman” Williams in his screw-blown ‘69 Camaro. Haney and team advanced to round two, running a 3.784 E.T. “Sandman” broke and was unable to make his pass, a first for him in a long time. 

For round two, Haney was paired against Wayne Roberts, another blower car and silent assassin this year. In Wayne’s words, “We are still just sneaking up on this deal, but that was a pass we can work with,” as he ran a 3.89 to Keith’s 3.729. Wayne went two rounds in the last event and into the second round this past weekend. He is figuring this new car out quickly, and it will be a car to watch all season.

Round three came and pitted the Black Mamba team against the No. 2 qualifier, Ron Muenks. Eliminating two blower cars, and being the sole surviving nitrous car in the semifinals, Haney had to lay down a solid pass if he hoped to make it to the finals. With a great side by side race, Haney running his best pass of competition, it was Muenk’s 3.642 that would take him to the finals. The Black Mamba continued to run faster as the weekend progressed, but the 3.705 wasn’t enough this time. 

Muenks, in the Purple Heart Firebird, would go on to win the event against Brian Lewis in an all-supercharged final.

The team left the event still leading the points series but by a much smaller margin than before. Furthermore, the team already has the car prepared for the next event with a new rack prepared to go in when needed.  

Juniors Program

Kilee Blevens, in her Lady America dragster, qualified fifth after two rounds of qualifying in the Race Start Wheels Pro Junior Dragster class. Fourteen racers participated in the Pro Juniors Class, and sadly, Kilee was put out in round one of eliminations. She moved to round one of the Junior Slammers Class but was not able to advance. She would leave the event fifth in points.

Braylee Blevens, in her Kandi dragster, qualified third in the nine racer field of Zimmerman Properties Sportsman Juniors. Between qualifying and eliminations, the team had to replace the entire brake control and sprocket of her race car. Her second race within the series was a learning experience with a first round loss to “Racin’ Mason” Higgins. This loss moved her to the Junior Slammers Class, but she was unable to advance passed the first round. She would leave the event sixth in Points.

Both Junior cars are ready for the next race. 

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This story was originally published on June 7, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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