HANEY CHECKS OFF NHRA PRO MODIFIED FROM HIS DRAG RACING WISH LIST
Keith Haney is a very busy man. He's got his hand in a little bit of everything, from running a squadron of successful car businesses, to be part owner in a drag strip, to overseeing a regional Pro Mod Series to campaigning a successful Pro Modified and Radial vs. The World entry.
As if Haney's plate isn't full enough, he added yet another gargantuan time-consumer - NHRA Pro Modified.
Haney appears to be rolling through his bucket-list like a Category Five Hurricane.
"Well it was something I always wanted to do," said Haney, who made his debut at the NHRA Heartland Nationals in Topeka, Kan. "For the last 20 years that I’ve been racing, I always watched all the pros. I know I’m still racing on a pro level even at eight-mile racing and then a Radial versus The World. I know I’m on a pro level, but the show’s a little different.
"NHRA basically started drag racing so when you start looking at the history and then I started looking at the fields."
The telltale sign which stood out to Haney, is the NHRA needs more characters, whether its good guys or bad guys, baby faces or heels like they have in wrestling.
Haney is convinced he can fill the bill.
"They don’t have any character over here," Haney declared. "If it wasn’t for John Force they probably wouldn’t have any character at all. I don’t mean that in a bad way but it’s just the truth. There’s not many willing to stick their neck out there and their mouth out there without getting a foot put in it.
"With me, whether I do good or I do bad, I still like to create the atmosphere that I enjoy, and that is a rivalry. It doesn’t matter who’s next to me; they’re my rival."
Haney unveiled on Friday, a Rickie Smith-prepared Camaro sponsored by Summit. For a man used to plying his trade to the eighth-mile, the quarter-mile is a real eye-opener.
"From the 330 to the 660 to the quarter-mile here, it’s totally different once you pass that eighth-mile," Haney explained. "I said it today, I did a little ride up today by myself, and I didn’t really understand the difference until after the eighth-mile. I went quarter-mile racing before; I’ve been 215 on a 105-inch wheelbase car. I went 246 yesterday, and I got lucky. I should have driven better. The difference of wheeling the car, the steering wheel, everything is totally different."
Haney missed the field, posting a best 5.900, 245.90. He's not the least bit discouraged.
"I definitely got three this year, and I can drive more but it’s not cheap to do this, and I’m lucky that I have good marketing partners to back me and say, "let’s go try it," Haney said. "Everything that has happened has been great so far."