Monday, August 6, 2012

Keith Haney pedals way to an ADRL round victory at Charlotte

**Post-Race Update**

CONCORD, N.C. (August 4) - Keith Haney Racing accomplished in two races what it took many teams several years: Winning a round in the American Drag Racing League.

Team owner Keith Haney drove his 2012 Chevrolet Camaro to a victory over Randy Weatherford in the first round of Dragstock IX at zMax Dragway on Saturday, his first round win in the ADRL.

And it was quite a victory, as Haney had to pedal the Camaro to the finish line. Haney, the No. 15 qualifier, left first with a .055-second reaction time and then got off and on the throttle twice before making a pass of 4.787 seconds at 120.51 mph, beating the run of 5.505 at 90.04 mph by the No. 2 qualifier.

"That first one was something else," Haney said. "The car left good, had a good 60-foot and she was moving. I had him on the Tree, too. The car got out there, the power came in, and I guess we were a little behind on the setup a little bit. It washed the rear end out, and I got sideways.

"I saw the blue (of Weatherford's car) out to my right, and then I saw it gone. I knew I had a chance to win, so I got excited. The adrenaline was going up inside me, and I hit the gas again. I should've eased into it, but, no, I went ahead and got into it again. It went back right again, and it got close to the center. So I reeled her back in and went down on the gas again, easily, and got lucky with a round win."

Haney then fell to No. 10 qualifier Doug Riesterer in the second round, when Riesterer blitzed the track with a pass of 3.836 at 195.28 mph, beating Haney's run of 4.088 seconds at 186.12 mph.

"We knew Riesterer hadn't really had a good showing this weekend, but we also know what he's capable of doing," Haney said. "When you race the best, you've got to beat them. We still didn't think the track was there, so I'm sure (crew chief) Jeff (Pierce) was conservative in the setup, knowing Riesterer hadn't really been down the track.

"I had him on the Tree, but the funny thing about it was he caught me at the 60-foot. Then after that, all I could see was tail lights."

Still, Haney was pleased with the continued progress of his two-car team, despite teammate Monroe Guest failing to qualify. That was a reverse from the team's first race, at Martin, Mich., when Guest made the race and Haney did not.

Martin was the first time the team's Reher-Morrison-powered Chevrolets attempted a race, and it came two-and-a-half months after Pierce began working on the new Stroupe Race Cars.
"I can't give enough props to the team," Haney said. "No mistakes on the team side today at all. Our first race, we had those - that's why I said we had the new team blues.

"Both cars ran respectably. We thought Monroe was going to be in, and that was exciting, but then Rickie Jones knocked him out with a 4.06. It left me in, and I was in in the 15th spot and had to run No. 2."

Guest was No. 13 after three of four qualifying sessions, but then four cars went faster in Q4, leaving Guest .015 seconds from making the race.

"It makes it really hard because we had a good chance last night to run a great number because the conditions were there, the temperature was there, the car was working really good," Guest said. "We came back out and made some adjustments for today. After we looked at the data, we felt like we needed to back it up a little bit and get it down the track. We felt like we'd probably be safe where we were at."

Still, Guest posted the team's top speed after two races, going 186.46 mph.

"We did pick up in the heat, which is very promising," Guest said. "However, not qualifying is one of the worst things you can do, other than wrecking your car. We'll go back and look at the data and make adjustments and be ready for the next race.

"The direction we need to go is probably focus a little more on chassis setup, maybe how the car is launching, try to get more off the starting line. At that point, some chassis adjustments will allow the car to pick up. The car needs to be in the .90s to be competitive. It really would be nice to be in the .80s, but we need to be consistently in the .90s."

Guest, like Haney, is pleased with the progress of the team and knows there is plenty of potential with both cars.

"This was the first time we ran our three-speed transmissions," Guest said. "The car felt good. I shook two out of four passes, and Keith shook two out of four passes, so we're kind of finding where our marginal line is to get down the track.

"It was a hot track, very tricky conditions. I think we made progress. We need to analyze what we've done, look at the runs where we didn't get down the track and see if there's any more adjustments we can do. We have the power, we have plenty of nitrous. Now, maybe we need to take a real hard look at the chassis setup and see if there's any tweaking we can do there to get the car through the shake zone better."

Haney and Guest race next at Memphis Drags III at Memphis International Raceway on Sept. 7-8.

"We had a good outing for our second race," Haney said. "Both cars are doing well. These Stroupe cars are good pieces, and Reher has given us some good motors to do something with. We've still got to find the chassis. We've got plenty of power, and we're having no mechanical problems on either one, but we haven't figured out the chassis setup yet.

"We'll go back home and do some testing to get ready for Memphis."

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Haney, Guest look to make progress at ADRL event in Charlotte

**During-Event Update**

CHARLOTTE (August 1) - Buoyed by a positive test session this week, Keith Haney and Monroe Guest are looking for improved performance in this weekend's ADRL Dragstock IX at zMax Dragway.
Haney's two-car team will race in its second ADRL event of the season, with Haney driving the Pro Nitrous Chevrolet Camaro and Guest in his own Chevrolet Camaro.  

The goals may be modest for this weekend, but Haney is trying to build a winning team by taking the proper steps. For Charlotte, qualifying both cars is the first goal.  

"That is our goal," Haney said. "Our goal is to qualify and have an opportunity to win a race. We feel like we've got the cars. Finding the setup to that track is going to be the key to it all."  

Haney and Guest tested their cars at Tulsa Raceway Park earlier this week, working well into the 
night to avoid the Oklahoma heat.  

"We tested Monday night until 1 in the morning," Haney said. "We had a good test session. We think the cars are ready to go."  

Haney's team got a late start to the ADRL season, which is already seven races old, building new cars for each class.  

"The rest of the ADRL's got six races under their belt, and we've got one. They're testing probably way ahead of us, too. We did a lot of testing, but we had motor issues. Now we don't have any motor issues and need to test more."  

Testing, Haney said, is the only way to get better.  

"We're way behind the 8-ball to the rest of the field," Haney said. "We've switched motor programs, and everything's going great now. We just switched transmissions over in both cars, too. We're excited, Monroe's excited, the whole team's excited. We feel like we can come and compete."  

A switch to Reher-Morrison engines has given the team an excellent baseline upon which to build, so Haney can now focus on tuning the cars.  

"Switching to them, we're really happen with how that's going," Haney said. "We've had no motor issues at all. Now we're fine-tuning our setups trying to find what the car likes and what the car needs. We're finding our stride, and that takes testing. We've done a little bit of that."



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Keith Haney Racing cars poised for breakthrough in Charlotte

**Pre-Race Update**

CONCORD, N.C. (August 3) - The Keith Haney Racing ADRL Pro Nitrous team of Keith Haney and Monroe Guest continued to make improvements during two rounds of qualifying during Dragstock IX at zMax Dragway on Friday.

Haney and Guest were hoping to get even better in the third qualifying session, but rain interrupted activities Friday night. Q3 and Q4 will be run Saturday morning, with eliminations beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

Guest is No. 12 after a pass of 4.096 seconds at 183.59 mph, with Haney slotted at No. 18 with a run of 4.442 at 144.80 mph. The top 16 qualify for eliminations.

The Haney/Guest team took delivery of new 2012 Chevrolet Camaro race cars in February from Stroupe Race Cars. After some issues with one engine supplier, Haney switched to Reher-Morrison power, and the move has been seamless.

Two-and-a-half months ago, Jeff Pierce was brought on as crew chief, and he has made numerous changes to the cars in preparation for the team's first race, in Martin, Mich., last month.

"We went through the new car/team blues," Haney said. "The right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing. This race, everybody's come here and done their job. We've all worked together as a team, and that's pretty special."

Plus, both cars debuted new three-speed transmissions for Charlotte.

"We have changed literally everything since Day 1," Haney said. "It'll take us time to get ours there, but we'll get there. We're only going to get faster as a team. As we work as a team, we get better.
And as we find what the cars and the chassis like, they'll get better."

Haney noted the improvement for his car from Q1 to Q2, as he went 4.688 seconds at 126.33 mph in the first session before the team made some adjustments for Q2.

"Mine's a little more finicky than the other car," Haney said. "It's making a little more horsepower, and not every car is the same. With mine, we've been chasing the chassis setup. The motor's there; Reher-Morrison has done a phenomenal job.

"We definitely made progress in the second one, and we were really looking forward to this third session. We did some more shock adjustments for this next hit, and we were hoping to make it down the track with a good run."

Still, Haney is ready to put the car in the top 16 Saturday.

"We're very confident we can put it in the show," Haney said. "Are we going to be No. 1 qualifier? Probably not. But they know we'll come. We've got the right parts, the right pieces and the right people. That's what it takes it make a good race team."

Guest's first pass put his car No. 12 after one session, though a conservative setup left room for improvement.
"First round went very well," Guest said. "The car went straight down the groove, no shake, and we ran a 4.09. We were soft on the start, which we knew we would be. We just wanted to get a good baseline. Jeff tuned her up for the second pass to see if we could get a little more out of her, and she shook pretty much at the hit. It shook hard enough that it knocked the hoodscoop off."

The hoodscoop flew into the air during Q2, and Guest was forced to abort the run. The team made quick repairs, and Guest was ready for Q3.

"We were ready to go for Round 3, but obviously it's a rainout," Guest said. "We'll have her dialed for kill for Round 3 and 4 and see if we can't put it in the top half of the field.

"I think session three, we should be able to pick up maybe a tenth. Session four will give us our first- or second-round tuneup for eliminations, and then Jeff will start digging through the books, looking Round 3 and round 4 for winner's circle pictures."  

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