Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Haney Hopes NHRA Pro Mod Experience Leads to Bigger Things

ENNIS, TX (Oct. 10, 2018) -- For veteran businessman and racer Keith Haney it wasn't all about elapsed time and miles per hour; it was about gaining valuable experience and exposure on the biggest doorslammer stage in drag racing.
When Haney decided to throw his hat in the NHRA Pro Mod ring this year with a three-race deal brokered through Rickie Smith Racing, he knew full well it wasn't going to be an easy task to
compete--or complete--that there would be hurdles to clear, setbacks to face, and naysayers to confront.
However, he also believed with the same nitrous-boosted 2017 Camaro that Smith drove to victory in Florida early this year, and respected corporate supporters including Summit Racing Equipment, Lucas Oil, Strange Engineering and Kryptonite Kustomz on board, he could make enough of an impact to make their participation pay off and his own commitment worthwhile.
And after finally qualifying for E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Series eliminations at the Texas Motorplex this past weekend (Oct. 5-7), his last of three scheduled NHRA appearances in 2018, Haney felt vindicated and at peace, even after falling in the first round of racing to eventual finalist Justin Bond.
"Just being able to qualify, it gives you a different appreciation of the Pro Mod category over
here. Everyone knows I missed the cut in my first race in Topeka, even though I did run my personal best E.T. and speed there, and then last month in St. Louis things just didn't go my way at all, but getting into the race in Texas really felt like an accomplishment," he said. "I'm proud of qualifying among the absolute best Pro Mod teams and drivers in the world."
Haney's first qualifying pass on Friday saw his car head for the center line shortly after launching and he wisely shut down and coasted to a stop. Later that afternoon he made a second attempt and ran 5.93 seconds at 224.32 mph, though still outside the 16-car field after 26 entries made qualifying runs down the Motorplex quarter mile.
"That was my fault, totally my fault," Haney said. "I hit the chutes and took my foot off the gas a little early; that's why the mile an hour was down so much. That should've been about a 5.84 or .85; we should've been in with that pass."
Regardless, he remained unfazed and optimistic.
"I had sponsors and friends calling and reassuring me on Saturday, saying 'You got this,' and 'Don't worry, you'll get in,' things like that, but I told them that I knew we were gonna' get in, that we had tested and Rickie's and (teammate Khalid al) Balooshi's cars were running .80 and .81, so we were going to turn mine up."
When the time came, Haney actually posted 5.84 at 246.84 mph, enough to secure 14th place in the provisional 16-car field with one more qualifying session scheduled for Saturday night. Heavy
rain swept in shortly before the Pro Mods were about to roll, however, and the field was suddenly set for race day.
"I'm sorry it rained because I think we could've gone a little quicker and maybe moved up a couple of spots, but I'd be lying if I said I was upset," Haney revealed at the time. "I'm just glad to be in the field because anything can happen on race day."
As it went, Haney was late on the tree, giving Bond and his twin-turbocharged '68 Firebird a sizeable head start that Bond translated into a 5.74-seconds win at 255.68 mph.
"I didn't do my job on the tree like I normally do," Haney admitted with a hint of disappointment in his voice. "We ran real good to the 330 (feet), but I know the turbo car picks up four numbers over a nitrous car at the back door and he started pulling away. So I just lifted at that point, saved the motor. There's just no reason to go down to the quarter mile when you can see he's on a great pass. My car was good, no issues at all, I just lifted and coasted through. Told everybody, "Good job."
And just like that, Haney's inaugural entry into NHRA Pro Mod came to a close. But he reminded everyone that just like it says all over the sides of his splashy, red-white-and-blue Summit Racing Equipment Camaro: "You Know My Name!"
"Let's be honest, if you take a look at it--and this is not an ego thing or anything like that--but I probably got more coverage in three races than some of these guys who have been out here for three or four or five years have ever received. But that's only because I'm more voiceful; I'm not afraid to say things, so yeah, I put it out there," Haney said. "And sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn't--but most of the time, it does."
And though he claims not to have any concrete plans for another NHRA Pro Mod run next year, Haney concedes he does want to try again. Of course, his participation will depend not only on business and personal demands, but on once more securing sufficient sponsorship to mount a serious campaign and partnering with the right race team and people.
"Rickie and I haven't really sat down and talked about the future yet, but no matter what, my tuner Brandon Switzer and I are great friends and whatever Brandon Switzer says to do is pretty much what I'll do," Haney revealed.
"My ego's bigger than most, so yeah, I don't want to do anything that I don't have a chance to win. I definitely wanted to get in the first and second races this year and I know a lot of people, they didn't think I'd qualify for a single NHRA event. But it was just like some of the other things I've done. When I came out radial racing all I ever heard was, 'He ain't gonna qualify; he ain't even supposed to show up.' And then I ended up qualified number one my first night," he continued.
"I'm afraid to say, I think that's part of the problem with radial racing, that it's coming few and far between, so it makes it tough when you can't fill a field. And you're racing the same eight guys every single race, so usually qualifying is easy. Just go A to B and you're in."
Haney is quick to stress, however, that regardless of any other racing plans for 2019, the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) that he owns and promotes will continue and he will continue to compete in the title class.
"I love the Mid-West Pro Mod Series and honestly believe it's growing into the best eighth-mile doorslammer series in the country--bar none. So the Mid-West Pro Mod Series isn't going anywhere," he emphasized. "If anything, it's going to continue growing and showcasing the tremendous talent it attracts."
With regard to the NHRA, Haney said he thoroughly enjoyed his experience and praised series and track officials, media members and even several of his fellow Pro Mod competitors for their hospitality and encouragement.
"It was surprising that after three races quite a few of the NHRA regular guys made their way over to congratulate me on finally qualifying," Haney said with a laugh. "It seemed like a case of they didn't want me to qualify, but they did want me to qualify. I guess you always don't want the guy with the big mouth to qualify. And you dang sure don't want him to win! But, you know, eventually all of them made their way over and said hello. Well, not all of them, but some of them."
It's just one more factor in convincing Haney to take the plunge again, to take on the challenge once more of running with the real big dogs in the NHRA Pro Mod series next season.
"I feel like at this point in my life, at this point in my racing career, I feel like I've accomplished quite a lot. I've won a few races in Pro Mod and drag radial, I won a Mid-West Series championship in two different classes last year, and now I've at least qualified for an NHRA race, too. But now I want to do more," Haney said. "Now I want to win a race in NHRA. But what my plans are next year, I just don't know yet. I'll let everybody know when I decide.
"But I can tell you, my ultimate goal now would be, I think I'd like to someday win an NHRA Pro Mod championship. And I think I could do it."
 -- END --

Photos courtesy Keith Haney Racing/Ian Tocher

ABOUT KEITH HANEY RACING
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Keith Haney Racing (www.keithhaneyracing.com) fields two cars in the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS), as well as for select NHRA and PDRA races and one-off special events. Keith Haney Racing appreciates the support of sponsors Summit Racing Equipment, Lucas Oil, Strange Engineering, Kryptonite Kustomz, RacingJunk.com, Reher-Morrison Racing Engines, MoTeC Systems USA, Switzer Dynamics, Brandon Pesz Performance & Tuning, M&M Transmission, Menscer Motorsports, Total Seal, Mickey Thompson, Browell Bellhousing, Rickie Smith Racing, and Larry Jeffers Race Cars.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Haney Happy with Test Performance Prior to NHRA Pro Mod at Dallas

ENNIS, TX (Oct. 4, 2018) -- Veteran Pro Mod driver and outspoken competitor Keith Haney made his 5.9-second, 250-mile-an-hour NHRA debut back in May on the quarter mile at Topeka, Ks., but it wasn't quite enough to break into the always tough NHRA E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Series field. He tried again last month in St. Louis, but again met with disappointment, leaving him more determined than ever to qualify this weekend (Oct. 5-7) for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex, south of Dallas.
"There's no way to sugarcoat it; the first time went okay, second time wasn't worth a darn. And that's okay, too. I
could give a million excuses, but it still wouldn't matter," the Tulsa-based new car dealer realizes as this weekend he makes the last of three scheduled NHRA Pro Mod appearances in 2018. 
"I owe it to my sponsors, to everyone at Summit Racing, I owe it to Strange Engineering, I owe it to Lucas Oil, to Kryptonite Kustomz, I owe it to all of them for believing in me to do everything I possibly can to succeed. I need to show up and show out, it's that plain and simple."
To that end, Haney participated yesterday (Oct. 3), in a day-long test session at Xtreme Raceway Park in Ferris, Tx. He was joined at the new eighth-mile strip just 15 minutes up the highway from the Motorplex in Ennis, by car owner and crew chief Rickie Smith, tuner Brandon Switzer, crewmen Chad Hester, Kevin Pickett and Logan Wilson, along with past NHRA Pro Mod champion and Rickie Smith Racing teammate Khalid al Balooshi.
"I was real fortunate in that Rickie pulled me aside after St. Louis and said, 'Hey, we're going testing before Dallas
and you don't have a choice.' I've had a lot going on in my personal and business lives lately, so I'm glad that that he insisted. It's what I needed," Haney freely admitted. 
After making several test hits in the same nitrous-boosted 2017 Camaro that three-time NHRA Pro Mod series champ Smith drove to victory at the NHRA event early this year in Gainesville, Fl., Haney was left feeling encouraged and optimistic about his chances at the NHRA FallNationals.
"Everything went perfect," he declared. "I made five straight-down-Broadway passes with no problems, no issues, no drama. If it runs like that this weekend, things are going to get real interesting.
"And I say perfect because that's exactly how it went. When I got in the car, every run was fast and straight and smooth. The track was absolutely perfect, too, prepped just like an NHRA track. Those guys at Xtreme did a great job."
With just three events left in the 2018 NHRA Pro Mod season, Smith is currently embroiled in a close battle against points leader Mike Janis, with Steve Jackson not far behind in third after winning the last two events.
Haney said he can't worry about any of that. As the defending 2017 champion for both Pro Mod and Radial vs. the World classes in the all-eighth-mile Mid-West Pro Mod Series, he's no stranger to victory lane himself and would like nothing better than to add an NHRA FallNats title to his racing resume.
"You know, I've raced in Texas a lot and our Keith Haney Racing fans in Texas are absolutely awesome and there's nothing I'd love more than to give them something big to celebrate. Plus, Summit's main distribution
center for this region isn't far from the Motorplex. In fact, that's where I met the people from Summit early this year and we put a three-race deal together. So this all started in Dallas and I want to finish it in Dallas!
"Seriously, I'm not out here just to play around; I'm here to win," Haney stated. "For me, for my team, for my sponsors, and I don't care who's in the other lane. I don't care about the points one little bit. I could not care less about who wins or who loses a championship. I just care about winning, pure and simple, about getting to that finish line first."
Haney will participate in a pair of qualifying sessions for the NHRA FallNationals at 12:45 and 5 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 5), with two more rounds of qualifying on Saturday at 12:30 and 4 p.m. Elimination rounds for the Pro Mod class are scheduled to begin at 12:10 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7. 
-- END --
Photos courtesy Keith Haney Racing/Randy Curtis

ABOUT KEITH HANEY RACING
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Keith Haney Racing (www.keithhaneyracing.com) fields two cars in the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS), as well as for select NHRA and PDRA races and one-off special events. Keith Haney Racing appreciates the support of sponsors Summit Racing Equipment, Lucas Oil, Strange Engineering, Kryptonite Kustomz, RacingJunk.com, Reher-Morrison Racing Engines, MoTeC Systems USA, Switzer Dynamics, Brandon Pesz Performance & Tuning, M&M Transmission, Menscer Motorsports, Total Seal, Mickey Thompson, Browell Bellhousing, Rickie Smith Racing, and Larry Jeffers Race Cars.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Stroud Safety Named Official Safety Gear for $50K Elite 16 Event

TULSA, OK (Sep. 18, 2018) -- Elite Motorsports and the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) are pleased to
announce Stroud Safety has been named the official safety gear supplier for the inaugural Elite 16 $50,000-to-win Pro Mod event Nov. 1-3, at the Texas Motorplex, near Dallas.


"There's nothing more important in drag racing than safety and Stroud Safety has been a leader in the field for more than two decades," Elite 16 promoter Keith Haney said. "Everything about this Elite 16 race is top-notch and having Stroud Safety on board is just one more example of the first-rate support we're seeing from the racing community."

Based in Oklahoma City, Stroud Safety is a leading manufacturer and supplier of parachutes, seatbelts, fire suppression systems, engine diapers, ballistic blankets and fire suits, among several other drag racing safety items. 

Stroud Safety representative MJ ("Everybody knows me as just MJ."), said that as a longtime supporter of Haney's MWPMS, it just made sense for Stroud to also join the Elite 16 sponsor list.


"I think that Keith is a real showman when it comes to rolling out the red carpet," she said. "He's really good at showing appreciation to sponsors and supporting us in all that we do. So I thought, why not just keep riding a winning horse?

"Plus, I just love Pro Mods," MJ added. "In fact, the license plate on my car says 'Pro Mod,' so I really am a big fan of the class and the racers. They're a great group of guys. Most of them are middle-class racers and those tend to be our core customers."

MJ said she plans to attend the Elite 16 event and can't wait to see who hoists the $50,000 winner's check in the Motorplex winner's circle. 

"I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping to see some friends there--and if not, I'll make some new ones! It's always fun to have some fun at the end of the year."

The Elite 16 will officially open with two rounds of qualifying Thursday evening, Nov. 1, with a whopping six additional rounds of qualifying scheduled throughout Friday, and eliminations set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Adding to the exclusivity of the event, spectators will be limited to only 500, with tickets available for purchase in advance via a link on the MWPMS Facebook page and MidWestProModSeries.com. However, Chad Reynolds of Bangshift.com will be on site all weekend long providing a live online feed of all the action free of charge to fans at home.


For updated information and details please visit the MWPMS website at www.MidWestProModSeries.com or the series’ FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/midwestpromods. Pro Mod teams interested in entering the Elite 16 event should visit www.texasmotorplex.com/elite16.

—END—

ABOUT THE MID-WEST PRO MOD SERIES

The Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) is an all-eighth-mile, no-profit organization that typically competes during each host track’s biggest event of the year. Its appearance is entirely funded by sponsorships passed along to benefit the host tracks (typically about $10,000). The Mid-West Pro Mod Series also provides trackside sponsor banners to be displayed at each event, on-site PA sponsor announcements, and links to each company on the MWPMS website (www.MidWestProModSeries.com), plus an extensive social-media presence, texts and e-mail blasts, and commercials during all events.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Haney Bringing New Approach to NHRA Pro Mod at St. Louis

TULSA, OK (Sep. 13, 2018) -- A bold, red-white-and-blue wrap prominently displays Keith Haney's unique “You Know My Name” catch phrase on the doors of his nitrous-boosted Summit Racing Equipment Pro Mod Camaro
and the Tulsa-based new car dealer recognizes his confident, outgoing personality and willingness to verbally mix it up may sometimes rub a few competitors the wrong way. 

After making his debut in the NHRA E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Series as a teammate to three-time series champion and eventual race winner Rickie Smith this May in Topeka, Ks., Haney says he's adopting a different approach Sep. 21-23, for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

"I hope to go out and take care of business like I have in every other series I've raced in," he says. "Everywhere else I've talked smack and done okay, but in Topeka I didn't quite back it up so I've got a different outlook going into St. Louis. Chris Blair and his staff do a great job and I love that track and usually do pretty good there, too, so that's what I'm going to focus on."

A veteran driver who also owns, promotes and competes in the all-eighth-mile Mid-West Pro Mod Series, Haney laid down a solid 5.90-seconds pass at 245.60 miles per hour over the quarter mile at Topeka, easily representing the quickest and fastest he’d ever been. Still, it wasn't quite enough to keep him in the 16-car raceday field.

"We had a decent race in Topeka. I learned a lot and actually had a faster car than Rickie to the eighth (mile), but
a little driver error just slowed us down," Haney admits. "But I know what I did wrong and we're going to do a little testing the week before St. Louis. With the help of Rickie and my crew chief, Brandon Switzer, I feel very confident we'll be racing on Sunday this time around."

Unfortunately, though, Haney's busy lifestyle will force him to miss No Mercy 9, a major eight-mile event for drag-radial cars presented by promoter Donald "Duck" Long that he'd planned to attend Sep. 27-30, at South Georgia Motorsports Park.

"We have a brand-new Honda dealership that's about to open and a new Chevy store we're building; my daughter just went off to college; I'm coaching 6th-grade football; just bought some property and about to start building a new shop and house, so I've got a whole lot going on, a lot to do," he explains. 

"I'll also be racing in the NHRA Pro Mod race down at the Texas Motorplex; the Mid-West Series World Finals is coming later in October at our track in Tulsa, and then of course we have the Elite 16 $50,000-to-win race back at
the Motorplex at the start of November. I mean, Duck does a great job and I love his races and the fans in Georgia have been just unbelievable to me, so I really hate that I'm going to miss this one, but I've just got so much going on right now that something's gotta' give."

Following the St. Louis NHRA event and with continuing support from Summit Racing, Strange Engineering, Lucas Oil and Kryptonite Kustomz, Haney will conclude his inaugural three-race NHRA campaign with Rickie Smith Racing Oct. 5-7, in the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Tx.

-- END --

Photos courtesy Keith Haney Racing

ABOUT KEITH HANEY RACING

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Keith Haney Racing (www.keithhaneyracing.com) fields two cars in the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS), as well as for select NHRA and PDRA races and one-off special events. Keith Haney Racing appreciates the support of sponsors Summit Racing Equipment, Lucas Oil, Strange Engineering, RacingJunk.com, Reher-Morrison Racing Engines, MoTeC Systems USA, Switzer Dynamics, Brandon Pesz Performance & Tuning, M&M Transmission, Menscer Motorsports, Total Seal, Mickey Thompson, Kryptonite Kustomz, Browell Bellhousing, Rickie Smith Racing, and Larry Jeffers Race Cars.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Chilly Willy Sponsors Qualifying for $50K-to-Win Elite 16 Pro Mod Event



TULSA, OK (Sep. 8, 2018) – Just qualifying for the inaugural $50,000-to-win Elite 16 event presented by Elite Motorsports and the Tulsa-based Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) is already guaranteed to be one very cool accomplishment. Thanks to Chilly Willys Engine Coolers, each of the 16 quickest Pro Mods at the famous Texas Motorplex Nov. 1-3, will be known as a Chilly Willys Qualifier. Additionally, Jim Phillips Collision Center of Evansville, Il., will be paying a bonus to the number-one starter.  

“When Keith (Haney, Elite 16 organizer and promoter) came to me with the idea, I was all for it right from the start. I like to support guys who give back to the sport, who know what it takes to run these cars, and Keith is definitely someone who knows all about that,” Chilly Willys owner Brian Shaw said. “He’s paying a good purse, which is few and far between in Pro Mod racing, and I really appreciate that. So I’m glad to help out.”
Based in Moseley, Va., Chilly Willys builds a compact engine cooling unit that manufactures and recirculates its own cold water, to as low as 39 degrees Fahrenheit without any need for ice. It requires only water and a 110-volt power source to work between rounds, with a digital L.E.D. display making it easy to preset a desired water temperature. A single Chilly Willys unit works quickly enough to individually cool even a multi-car team between rounds.  

“A cooler engine allows you to run a little more timing, burn a little more fuel, and the cooler an engine is, it lessens the detonation,” Shaw explained. “We can cool the water down to 39 degrees, which is cooler than anyone would need right now, but you can set it to anywhere from 39 to 150 degrees, wherever you want.”
Shaw said he decided to start building the Chilly Willys cooler seven years ago after growing tired of spending up to $10 per bag of ice at race tracks just to cool his car’s engine between rounds. “We were using maybe 20 or 30 bags, sometimes more, so I was spending up to $400 per race just on ice and then you had to go find somewhere at the track where you could dump all the water when it melted. I just thought there had to be a better, cheaper way.”
Jerry Bickel Race Cars, which will be on hand at the Motorplex during the Elite 16, and Sonny’s Racing Engines are Chilly Willys’s biggest distributors. In addition to several MWPMS regulars, Shaw now counts NHRA Pro Mod and Pro Stock, PDRA Pro Boost and Pro Nitrous, NMCA Pro Mod, and several regional Pro Mod and Sportsman racers among his loyal customers.
“I have a Chilly Willys for my two race cars and it just makes cooling down between rounds so much faster and easier,” said Haney, who plans to compete in the Elite 16 with “Notorious,” his nitrous-fed 2014 Camaro Pro Mod. “It really is a great product and I’m looking forward to being a Chilly Willys Qualifier.”   
New for this year with Chilly Willys is an integrated transmission chiller. Shaw said he always offered a separate transmission chilling unit, but new versions of his product incorporate it within the approximately two-foot-square cube. Models specifically designed for automatic transmissions with nitromethane motors and automatics with alcohol-burning engines for blower and turbocharged combinations are also now available.
“The old transmission chiller was quite large and made everything quite a bit more expensive, but now with it in the box it can be made a lot less expensive while still being a top-quality product and still able to easily fit under a counter,” he said.
Despite winning the season-opening PDRA event in North Carolina with veteran driver James Hancock III behind the wheel of his nitrous-boosted ’69 Camaro, Shaw said they unfortunately will not be Chilly Willys Qualifiers this year.
“It’s a little too far for us at the end of the year … and besides, Keith Haney does not want us coming out there and whipping his butt!” he added, laughing. “But seriously, I want Keith to get all the credit he deserves for putting this race together. I appreciate it and I hope everyone else does, too. For someone to put his neck out there and pay this kind of purse to Pro Mod racers is just awesome.”
The Elite 16 will officially open with two rounds of qualifying Thursday evening, Nov. 1, with a whopping six additional rounds of qualifying scheduled throughout Friday, and eliminations set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. Adding to the exclusivity of the event, spectators will be limited to only 500, with tickets available for purchase in advance via a link on the MWPMS Facebook page and MidWestProModSeries.com. However, Chad Reynolds of Bangshift.com will be on site all weekend long providing a live online feed of all the action free of charge to fans at home.
For updated information and details please visit the MWPMS website at www.MidWestProModSeries.com or the series’ FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/midwestpromods. Pro Mod teams interested in entering the Elite 16 event should visit www.texasmotorplex.com/elite16.
—END—

ABOUT THE MID-WEST PRO MOD SERIES
The Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) is an all-eighth-mile, no-profit organization that typically competes during each host track’s biggest event of the year. Its appearance is entirely funded by sponsorships passed along to benefit the host tracks (typically about $10,000). The Mid-West Pro Mod Series also provides trackside sponsor banners to be displayed at each event, on-site PA sponsor announcements, and links to each company on the MWPMS website (www.MidWestProModSeries.com), plus an extensive social-media presence, texts and e-mail blasts, and commercials during all events.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Haney Unfazed by Setbacks at St. Louis MWPMS Event

TULSA, OK (Aug. 8, 2018) – The trouble started not long after Keith Haney’s team hauler headed out of Tulsa bound for St. Louis and the Frankenstein Engine Dynamics Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) event at Gateway Motorsports Park. Rolling northeast on I-44, approaching the halfway point of their 400-mile trip, a tire suddenly let go on the trailer, forcing an emergency stop at the next available exit in tiny Mount Vernon, Missouri.
“We got so damn lucky, we get off the exit and boom, there's a tire place right there,” recalled Haney, a veteran MWPMS racer, as well as owner and promoter of the series. “It would have taken us probably two or three hours to change that tire ourselves, but we go in, they tell us where to park, jack it up, change the tire, and in less than 30 minutes we’re back in business.
“So I ask, ‘How much do I owe you?’ and they answer with, ‘Nothing, you owe us nothing.’ It turns out the guys there follow me on Facebook and the manager’s friend races at Tulsa Raceway Park, the track I own with Todd Martin, so I'm just stunned,” Haney admitted. “It ended up we paid them with swag. We gave everyone in the place Keith Haney Racing hats. So, Southwest Fleet Service in Mount Vernon, thank you! And anyone ever in the area needing tire service, I can’t recommend them enough; they did a great job, too.”
Unfortunately, the mishaps didn’t end there. Shortly after arriving at Gateway and setting up in the pits, Haney was lying near the back of the trailer hooking up an air line when a crewmember accidentally lowered the trailer’s heavy lift gate on his right foot.
“My guys were lowering down the golf cart and I had the front part of my foot just far enough under so that it got crushed,” he said. “It was swollen immediately, looked like a football, so of course I went to the coach, put ice on it and kept it elevated, but within a couple of hours I was convinced to go to the hospital.
“And I want to thank everyone at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City, IL. I got the best service I've ever had any freakin’ hospital I've ever been to,” Haney continues. “I walked in and was back in a room in less than 15 minutes. The doctors were funny, they did X-rays on my foot, and they checked me out while I was still in my room.”
Luckily, the X-rays revealed no broken bones for Haney, but with significant tissue damage beneath the skin, a prescription for pain control and elevated rest was in order. That meant he missed Thursday night’s opening round of qualifying, but by Friday afternoon Haney was feeling better, the medication had worn off and he felt ready to try on his Stand 21 driving shoe.
“It wasn’t easy getting it on, but once I did it felt just as tight as the compression bandage it replaced,” Haney says. “After about 45 minutes I tested out walking on it and then got in the car to see if I could work the gas pedal. When that worked I told my guys to get the car ready ‘cause we were going racing!”   
However, transmission troubles in both of Haney’s qualifying attempts left him outside what turned out to be the quickest 16-car field in MWPMS history with a 3.78 bump spot. With only Saturday’s final qualifying session available the
pressure to perform was intense, but Haney managed only a 3.80 that relegated him to the unique MWPMS Slammers class fornon-qualifiers that also allows buybacks for qualifiers eliminated from round one of Pro Mod racing.
“I’ll admit it was disappointing, but we just faced one issue after another and it eventually caught up to us,” Haney said.
In round one of Slammers competition Haney’s nitrous-injected 2014 Camaro
posted a 3.81 pass to beat Michael Bradley. A much-needed bye run followed for round two and though again running only 3.82, Haney’s team “figured something out” and made adjustments for a semi-final meeting with Chad Javers and his supercharged ’67 Mustang.
The two cars left the line just one-thousandth of a second apart, with Javers
reaching the finish line 660 feet later in 3.767 seconds at 197 mph to Haney’s 3.769 at nearly 201 for a three-thousandths margin of victory.
“It was too close to call from inside the car, but that was one of the best drag races of the entire weekend,” Haney said. “He had me down low, but I was reeling him in and just ran out of track. So, a semi-finals finish in Slammers, not a great result but at least we finally got the car figured out.
“Plus, we ended up leaving with no carnage, nothing bad other than what we kind of went through at first, and we all got home safe. In fact, not one car even got close to the wall all weekend, which is a credit to the track and prep by Kurt Johnson with VP Fuels traction compound.
“Overall I’m happy with the Mid-West Series race in St. Louis,” Haney insisted. “I didn’t do all that well personally, but the series in general is doing really well. Our sponsors are happy; our racers are happy; we had our biggest entry list in Pro Mod ever with 38 cars; 61 different drivers have entered at least one Mid-West Series race so far this year and we’ve had six different drivers win in six races, with five of them in blower cars and one nitrous, but nitrous cars have been runner-up in five of those finals, too, so we’re showing good parity. Things are looking good,” Haney said.
“And we’re going to finish our year with the Elite 16, a new $50,000-to-win Pro Mod race we’re putting on with help from Elite Motorsports at the Texas Motorplex using Mid-West Pro Mod Series rules. But it’s not a points race; it’s just a big, end-of-season special event that’s going to feature the baddest eighth-mile Pro Mod racers from all over the country. It’s really going to set the bar for this type of event going forward.”   
Keith and Chad Reynolds Of Bangshift.com

Keith Haney Racing will return to action with the Mid-West Pro Mod Series Sep. 7-8, at the all-new Xtreme Raceway Park in Ferris, TX.
—END—
Photos courtesy KHR


ABOUT KEITH HANEY RACING
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Keith Haney Racing (www.keithhaneyracing.com) fields two cars in the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS), as well as for select NHRA and PDRA races and one-off special events. Keith Haney Racing appreciates the support of sponsors Summit Racing Equipment, Lucas Oil, Strange Engineering, RacingJunk.com, Reher-Morrison Racing Engines, MoTeC Systems USA, Switzer Dynamics, Elite Motorsports, Brandon Pesz Performance & Tuning, M&M Transmission, Menscer Motorsports, Total Seal, Mickey Thompson, Kryptonite Kustomz, Browell Bellhousing, and Larry Jeffers Race Cars.