After back-to-back final round appearances in the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Keith Haney is ready to finish the job in Pro Mod. This weekend, he’ll have two chances to do it, racing as part of this weekend’s massive double-event Osage Casino Hotel Throwdown in T-Town.
It’s the twice-a-year race at the track he co-owns, Tulsa Raceway Park, and this one will be huge for Haney in his nitrous-powered “Black Mamba” Summit Racing Equipment Camaro. He’s right in the thick of the points race and will have double the opportunity to pick up a victory — or two — over the course of Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Considering he’s picked up a pair of runner-up finishes and a No. 1 qualifier at the last two MWDRS races, Haney is heading into the race with plenty of grand aspirations.
“We’re feeling good and everyone is working really well together,” Haney said. “The preparation we’ve done at the shop, it has paid dividends. We’re paying attention to the details and our program is showing it. That pressure to win is what everybody lives for. Our team is set up for success and I believe that preparation sets us up to be successful, period.”
The team and the car have certainly been on point since the MWDRS resumed its season in August. With standout tuner Brandon Switzer calling the shots on Haney’s Pat Musi Racing Engines-powered rocket ship, the Jerry Bickel Race Cars Camaro has made 27 passes without lifting at the last two MWDRS races and the Shakedown Nationals two weeks ago.
Considering the team has consistently been running at the top of the pack while doing that, putting together a number of runs in the 3.60s, it’s an impressive feat and it continues to push Haney as a driver.
“The driver just has to do his job now,” Haney said. “We made some corrections after the latest race, made some adjustment and hopefully we won’t have any of those holeshot losses anymore. You can’t do that, but part of the preparation of the car is getting comfortable in the car, and we’re getting there. The preparation has been great and everyone knows their job and does the same thing every time.”
It’s put Haney right in the championship mix in a loaded Pro Mod class in the MWDRS with three races remaining. He’s currently fourth in points and just 37 out of second. With two races taking place over three days, there could be a lot of shuffling in the class and Haney is ready to make a big move, even with upwards of 25 Pro Mods likely on hand in Tulsa.
“A good race here could put us at or near the top. We just have to work at it, but it’s nice to have a car that can get to the top,” Haney said.
Of course, as the co-owner of the track and owner of the series, it also makes for an incredibly busy weekend for Haney. The Throwdown in T-Town draws tens of thousands of fans during its two races per year and a double-race this weekend will make it even bigger. Haney, though, has figured out how to balance entertaining fans, friends and family with focusing on the task at hand, which is winning races. He credits his wife, Misty, for helping with that and Haney is ready to get down to business on the track on Thursday.
“Misty being there makes it really good for me,” Haney said. “She knows what’s going on and she can lead that whole pit area. It’s a pretty intense situation, but we’re focused. We’re here to race, win and have fun while we’re doing it, and we know how to stay the course.”
Qualifying begins Thursday and the opening round of eliminations will also take place that night. The first race will finish Friday and the MWDRS will go right into qualifying for the second race that night. Qualifying will be completed on Saturday and eliminations will take place that night to finish off the second race in Tulsa.