Keith Haney completes first Drag Radial
race as fastest nitrous car in class history
CECIL, Ga. (Feb. 22) -- Despite a tough loss in the third round, Keith Haney and his Keith Haney Racing team had a remarkable run in their first Drag Radial race, last weekend's Lights Out 7 event at South Georgia Motorsports Park.
Haney had a new Lucas Oil/RacingJunk.com Chevrolet built in secret in the off-season; Larry Jeffers Race Cars built the chassis and Switzer Dynamics finished the car. With Brandon Pesz and Brandon Switzer tuning, Haney became the fastest nitrous Radial Vs. The World driver in history.
Haney was also a fan favorite at the event, helping bring new fans to his team and to the Drag Radial world.
"It was truly a storybook weekend," Haney said. "To do what we did and to accomplish what we accomplished and earn the respect of the other Radial Vs. The World racers, it just doesn't happen in this world."
Haney's new car was one of the fastest of the large field of cars, with a top qualifying pass of 3.894 seconds at 191.81 mph that opened plenty of eyes, but he went faster in eliminations, with a top speed of 192.20 mph.
"We are officially the world's fastest nitrous Drag Radial car," Haney said. "We are the fastest 60-foot, 330-foot e.t. car. I hold every incremental record in my very first outing."
That says a lot about his car and his team.
"The team that we assembled this weekend deserved to win and I let 'em down," Haney said. "Yet they were still on cloud nine even after the race. That's when you know you have a good team and have people who want to be a part of your program."
One of those people was crewmember Andrew Arnold, who fell off Haney's trailer while putting up an awning. Arnold suffered minor injuries, but he stayed to work with the team the entire weekend.
Arnold was joined by many others in Haney's pit, from driver Jim Laurita to Rod and Kevin Pickett to Chris Bell to Monroe Guest to Shayne Lawson. They were all there to support Haney.
"We had a legendary pit," Haney said. "And I got a text from Daniel Pharris saying, 'I always wanted to race against someone of your team's caliber, and I did it.' I admire that because I've been that way."
Haney lost in the third round when his .099-second reaction time wasn't enough to beat Pharris, who won on a holeshot after a .036 light.
"I've never lost on a holeshot in my life, and I've been racing a long time," Haney said. "Truly, I've never, ever been beaten on a holeshot. He's a good driver, and he did his job on the Tree. I didn't.
"But I had the car to beat this weekend. I truly feel that, and I think everybody saw that."
Fans also saw the friendly side of Haney, who spent a lot of time engaging with them at the racetrack and online through his Keith Haney Racing Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/
Keith-Haney-Racing- 187112541341450/). Haney brought 600 KHR T-shirts and sweatshirts to the event, and he sold them all.
"It is amazing how many fans we made this weekend," Haney said. "Our Facebook page added more than 4,000 people last week. We had more than 128,000 people engaged to our Facebook page, so our social media went through the roof.
"The fans at the track loved that I stood at the back of the trailer with no barricades and talked to every one of them."
Many fans also enjoyed the verbal sparring between Haney and Lights Out 7 promoter Donald Long. Haney got the last word.
"I'm the only person who ever shut Donald Long's mouth," Haney said. "Every fan came up and said, 'You're the only person who said they were going to do something, and Donald said they wouldn't. You proved him wrong.' "
Haney also appreciated the countless text messages, phone calls, e-mails, and online posts he received over the weekend.
"Thank you to all those people who messaged me," Haney said. "They are the people who matter most, and I appreciate every one of them."
Sponsors Lucas Oil, RacingJunk.com, Switzer Dynamics, Pesz Performance & Tuning, Reher-Morrison, M&M Transmission, and Menscer Motorsports Shocks made Haney's foray into the Drag Radial world possible, and he continues to appreciate the support of wife Dee and children Timber, Alex, Madison, and Logan.
The new car will stay in Haney's garage until the Radial Revenge Tour on at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park. Haney hopes for an even better event at the track he co-owns with Todd Martin.
"What a great atmosphere, what a remarkable race they put on here," Haney said. "We can take some of the good and bad of the experience, tweak it, and make it 10 times better at Tulsa."
Despite a tough loss in the third round, Keith Haney and his team had a
run in their first Drag Radial race, last weekend's Lights Out 7 event at