CLOSE CALL FOR HANEY BEFORE MWDRS SLAMMERS RUNNER-UP
One week removed from the season opener for the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, veteran driver and MWDRS owner Keith Haney remained grateful a wild qualifying mishap didn't preclude a runner-up finish in the series' unique consolation Pro Mod Slammers race.
Running in the right lane at Xtreme Raceway Park (XRP) in Ferris, TX, Haney's 2019 "Black Mamba" Camaro launched hard, but just before halfway down the strip it abruptly lost traction and skidded to its left. Fortunately, Haney was on a solo pass as the car slid sideways and almost turned over, crossing the eighth-mile finish line in the opposite lane with the bottom of its Jerry Bickel-built chassis in full display to the starting area.
"I really thought it was going over again," Haney said, recalling a fiery rollover crash in Florida almost a year ago to the date that forced extensive repairs and sidelined him for most of last year. "But I'd have to say God and Andrew Arnold, one of my crew guys who tragically passed away last year, they placed their hands on top of that car and pushed it back down on the racetrack, nice and easy.
"I know I got lucky and didn't catch anything on the car," he continued. "The car wasn't even hurt, never touched a wall, even though I should have hit every one of 'em."
Unfazed, Haney and his Pat Musi-powered ride returned in round two of qualifying to turn in a 3.69 at 206.23-mph effort that held up for an eighth-place start. He ran into eventual event winner Tommy Cunningham in the opening round of eliminations, however, coming up short by just over two-hundredths of a second.
Haney's race day continued, though, after being relegated to MWDRS Slammers competition for non-qualifiers and first-round runners-up. There, he outran good friend Wayne Roberts and Tony Strachan driving one of Haney's previous Camaros before reaching Brandon Lewis and his new Procharger-equipped '69 Camaro in the Pro Mod Slammers final.
Unfortunately, after leaving first with a slim .009 advantage, Haney's car started shaking its tires by half track so he shut down early while Lewis powered through for the win.
"All in all it was a great weekend of racing," Haney stated. "I was out here with my new teammate DeWayne Mills in the all-new 'Golden Gorilla,' one of my old cars that's been refitted with a big 'ol screw blower, but it hung the rods out in the last round of qualifying. But it was still great racing with DeWayne and the whole Mills family. We're looking forward to doing a lot more of it.
"I also want to thank my tuner, Brandon Switzer, absolutely the best in the business, my crew: Shane Goodnight, Dale and Cale Hancock, Steve Cooks, and of course my girl, soon to be wife, Misty Hayes, who keeps us all in line. I couldn't do this without any of them."
Keith Haney Racing will be back in action Apr. 22-24, when the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service visits the all-new I-30 Dragway in Caddo Mills, TX, near Dallas.