The script couldn’t have been drawn up much better and Keith Haney made sure to provide a thrilling conclusion. Racing at his home track at this weekend’s 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 one of the most memorable wins of his career, driving to the victory in Pro Mod at Tulsa Raceway Park.
Haney went 3.671-seconds at 207.37 mph in his nitrous-powered “Black Mamba” Camaro to beat Jim Whiteley in the championship round, giving him his first victory of the season after coming up just short at two previous final round appearances.
This one finished off a double-race weekend at Tulsa and Haney was left smiling after a wonderful end to his weekend.
“I’m just on cloud nine,” said Haney, who is now third in points with one race remaining in the 2021 MWDRS season. “I sit back and think about the work my tuner (Brandon Switzer) and my crew have done, and it’s all about preparation. We put in all the work at the shop. 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. Everything worked out the way it was supposed to and it was just an amazing weekend. To do it at my home track, it was awesome and the fans were just amazing here.”
Haney advanced to the semifinals at the first race of the weekend and then qualified in the No. 1 spot in his Jerry Bickel Race Cars-built Summit Racing Equipment Camaro with an impressive pass of 3.678 at 206.35.
That set the tone for a huge day in eliminations, which included a strong pass of 3.689 at 206.20 in the second round. In the semifinals, Haney showed his driving prowess, beating Ed Thornton on a holeshot. Thornton was 3.681 at a staggering 221.49, but Haney was the better .031 on the starting line, which allowed his 3.695 at 206.23 to hold up and ensure a third final round in the past four races.
After a tough holeshot defeat in the final round in Martin, getting one in his favor in a key situation was a huge moment for Haney.
“After Virginia (at the Shakedown Nationals), we made some adjustments and it paid off. Getting a holeshot win was big,” Haney said. “I was ready and the team was ready. It was all about consistency and also being consistent on the tree. I wasn’t going to lose again on a holeshot. That’s what it boiled down to and the team did a great job. They stayed focused and we came out with the victory.”
Haney also did his job in the final round, leaving first on Whiteley, who went 3.687 at 202.91. Whiteley beat Haney in the semifinals of the first race by a razor-thin margin, but Haney was able to come through this time to chalk up the much-needed victory.
Amazingly enough, Switzer made the tuning calls remotely from another race, but things couldn’t have worked out any better for the team.
“We went 11 passes in less than 24 hours in a nitrous car. It was the closest side-by-side drag racing I’ve ever experienced in one weekend of racing,” Haney said. “The track was on kill and everybody went fast.
“The last half of this year has been the best racing of my career. It’s been the best. Our guys have just stepped it up and it’s amazing what Brandon is able to do.”
Haney now remains in contention for the Pro Mod championship in the Mid-West Drag Racing Series. He’s third in points behind Whiteley and Joey Oksas, who won the first race on Friday, but there’s still a glimmer of hope for a world title.
“Do I have a chance? It’s an outside one, but stranger things have happened,” Haney said. “Nobody has anything wrapped up and we’re excited to head to the finale.”
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.