Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Haney to Race New 'Black Mamba' Camaro with MWPMS in Memphis

TULSA, OK (Sep. 11, 2019) -- A new era will dawn for Keith Haney Racing (KHR) Sep. 13-14, as "Black Mamba," the team's brand-new, nitrous-breathing 2019 Camaro, will make its competition debut with the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) at Memphis International Raceway.
"To say I'm excited is a huge understatement. I can't wait to get the Black Mamba out there and sink my fangs into the competition," declared team owner and driver Haney, who also owns and promotes the all-eighth-mile MWPMS.
"Seriously, my plan is to go to Memphis and drag every single one of 'em from one end of the race track to the other. That's my goal. So if you're lined up
beside me, you better be nervous and you better have your stuff together, because me and Black Mamba are poised to strike."
Fresh out of Jerry Bickel Race Cars in Moscow Mills, MO, Haney's new ride carries a Pat Musi 959 c.i. powerplant feeding its nitrous-boosted horsepower through a lightweight billet Lencodrive that's outfitted with a Ty-Drive and Neal Chance torque converter. Versatility was taken into account, too, as the sinister-looking Camaro also is configured to race with relatively easy alterations in either Pro Mod trim or as a Radials vs. the World entry.
The car was unveiled last month at the MWPMS event in St. Louis, but Black Mamba didn't take to the track there. Instead, immediately following the race it was delivered to Switzer Dynamics in Denver, NC, where KHR crew chief Brandon Switzer completed final assembly and tuning.
"I told Brandon to build what he wanted and he wanted the Black Mamba to be
from Bickel, so that's where we went. And that's not saying I didn't have a great race car before," stressed Haney, a Tulsa-based new car dealer whose previous Pro Mod came from Larry Jeffers Race Cars in House Springs, MO.
"Larry built me 'Notorious,' an absolutely outstanding race car that served me well, delivered many wins and even a Mid-West Series championship. And he's a good friend of mine still. Larry's also a sponsor of the Mid-West Pro Mod Series, as is Jerry Bickel. They're both great guys that know how to take care of their racers.
"And let's not forget that Black Mamba is the Summit Racing Equipment car. Summit is just great people who believe in giving back to the sport and they believe in Keith Haney, so I'm going to go out there and take care of business for them. And if you need a discount from Summit, just let me know and I'll give you a 10-percent discount code. I'm serious, just call me up and I'll give you the code," he said.
"Along with Lucas Oil, who has been with me for 12 years, Strange Engineering,, I feel so fortunate to have so many great sponsors that believe in me and believe in the Mid-West Series."
A private test session for Black Mamba is taking place this week at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park, which Haney co-owns with fellow MWPMS racer Todd Martin.
"I can't wait to drive the car. Finally to come out with adequate power and a top-of-the-line race car is a dream," Haney said. "We had one specific goal and that was to build the fastest big-tire car in the world--period. I built the car for
that reason we didn't lay up one bit. It's the most expensive race car I've ever built in my entire life; maybe one of the most expensive race cars ever built."
New teammate Jim Sackuvich also will unveil and race a new Bickel-built machine at the Memphis MWPMS event, Haney confirmed.
"It's exactly the same as mine except his car is a '69 Camaro. Exactly the same power, exactly the same build, two different body styles, but we're coming as a true two-car team with Brandon Switzer tuning them both," he said. "We're going to test together and then we're going to roll into Memphis together as a nitrous power group to take down every one of the screw cars--and anybody else that gets in our way."
With two events remaining on the 2019 MWPMS schedule, at Memphis and the official season ender Oct. 11-12, at Tulsa, Sackuvich currently sits fourth in points while Haney is sixth, with both remaining mathematically within reach of the championship.
"My goal, Brandon's goal, it's not just about winning races and championships or
being number-one qualifier, either--I mean, we want to win, don't get me wrong--but our goal is to have the fastest Pro Mod car ever to go down a race track. And if I've got to build the lightest car, which I did, get the best parts and the best pieces, which I did, get the best tuner, which I did, to go out and do exactly that, then that's what's gonna' happen," Haney stated.
"And guess what? I want to look over at those screw cars and say, 'Hey, we're going to take some weight off you guys now.' I mean, usually you're backing everybody else down because of what a nitrous car can do, but how cool would that be to make a rule change because of nitrous to the benefit of a screw car, turbos, and all that they have?"
Regardless of the championship outcome, most MWPMS stars will race one more time, too, in the Atomizer Racing Injectors MWPMS Invitational, to be run Oct. 16-19, within the NHRA national event at the Texas Motorplex, near Dallas.
"That's going to be a tremendous event for everyone in our Mid-West Series, but on a personal level, I can't wait to run the Black Mamba through the traps in front of a huge NHRA crowd," Haney said.
"We built the car that we wanted to build and now it's gotta' prove itself on the race track. It's the lightest car ever to come out of Bickel's race shop, certainly the lightest car I've ever owned, it's got all the right parts and pieces, we've got the best people around it. I've assembled the absolute, in my opinion, dream team. Now we're all going to see what happens."
-- END --

Photos courtesy KHR

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Keith Haney Racing ( competes in the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS), as well as 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,, MoTeC Systems USA, Switzer Dynamics, Neal Chance Racing Converters, Lenco Racing Transmissions, Menscer Motorsports, Precision Racing Suspension, Mickey Thompson, Musi Racing Engines, Jerry Bickel Race Cars, and Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Dreams Come True for MWPMS with NHRA Appearance at Dallas

TULSA, Okla. (Sep. 6, 2019) -- Next month, during the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex, the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West
Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) will stage an unprecedented 16-car, eighth-mile exhibition race presented by Atomizer Racing Injectors as part of a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) national event.
"This is a dream come true for me. Everyone in drag racing knows the NHRA is the big show--period," MWPMS owner and competitor Keith Haney states. "I want to personally thank NHRA, (Motorplex owner) Billy Meyer and (track general manager) Andy Carter for creating this tremendous opportunity for our racers.
"They can't believe they get to be a part of the first-ever NHRA eighth-mile race,
the first 16-car exhibition class field, the first-ever race featuring all Pro Mod engine combos running side by side, and most of all the chance to win the first-ever trophy for eighth-mile racing in NHRA history. Each of these Mid-West Series guys will go down in NHRA history--which alone is amazing--but whoever wins that trophy will really have lifelong bragging rights," he continues.
In entering three NHRA national events with a nitrous-fed, Summit Racing-backed Camaro last year, Haney qualified for the official RPM Pro Mod field during the 2018 NHRA FallNationals, placing him among the few MWPMS racers with NHRA quarter-mile Pro Mod experience. Each of 20 invited MWPMS entrants will be familiar with the all-concrete Motorplex eighth mile, though, as the Tulsa-based series opened its 2019 schedule at the Motorplex in March and visited twice last year.
Knowing, however, that the RPM Pro Mod group would not be part of the 2019 mix at the FallNationals, Carter said he approached NHRA officials early this year with the suggestion of adding a local Pro Mod exhibition instead.
"Between the Mid-West Pro Mods, the NHRA Pro Mods last year, and a few local races we've held, we've really built up a strong Pro Mod fan base here. I was just thinking of something on a smaller scale, something with our local guys," Carter says. "For us, it was really all about the opportunity to do something a little bit different than everybody else.
"Then a couple of months back I got to talking with Keith and NHRA asked me to put a plan together and we were all able to work out a deal. Honestly, I asked for way more than I thought I would get with the number of qualifying rounds and running the finals on Sunday and stuff like that, but they came back and said okay, let's do it."
Carter explains the planned schedule calls for completing two rounds of MWPMS qualifying on Thursday (Oct. 17), with an additional round of qualifying on each of the next two days, followed by two elimination rounds also on Saturday. The MWPMS semi-finals and final round will be contested on Sunday (Oct. 20), in front of the NHRA raceday crowd, with the standard MWPMS purse and a coveted NHRA trophy on the line.
"This is big, really big," Haney stresses. "Everyone I've talked to about racing in this event is so excited. I mean, to race in front of what's going to be a huge
crowd and get that first eighth-mile trophy ever in the history of NHRA, how special would that be? You can bet I want to win it and me and my crew chief Brandon Switzer will be doing all we can to make that happen.
"But seriously, this is a dream event for most of our guys. There's a good chance most of them will never see this stage again--unless we have it again--so right now it could easily be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"I have to mention, too, that it's a dream come true for our announcer, Al Tucci, to work an NHRA national event. Al and his unique style are known all around the world and I know he's every bit as excited as I am to be a part of this amazing event."
Speaking from his home near Chicago, Tucci confirms his eager anticipation.
"I can go down the list for 33 years and I've done every type of racing or night fire show, even announced some division racing many years ago, but not directly for NHRA. They just came to the track where I worked and I was on the mic with Bob Frey," Tucci recalls. "So for this I'm just totally excited and ready to let it fly. It's going to be so cool."
Tucci also praises the Mid-West Pro Mod Series rules package that will put a variety of powerplants in front of NHRA fans. Nitrous cars such as Haney's nitrous-breathing "Black Mamba" 2019 Camaro fresh out of Jerry Bickel's chassis shop will be going up against cars outfitted with screw blowers, roots-type superchargers or turbo set-ups under the hood.
"I remember back in the late-'90s when IHRA was racing blowers versus nitrous and everyone was complaining, but I was saying, 'Either separate them or figure out the rules so nobody's walking away with it.' It's a race. It's two guys in their cars, maybe a 10th of a second apart or whatever, but it's got to be a race," Tucci says.
"Other sanctioning bodies have separated the classes while the Mid-West Series has put everyone together, structured the rules so that if you love turbos, or blowers, or nitrous, or whatever, you get a chance to watch your favorite guys go at it."
Support is strong from the sponsorship and marketing side, too, Haney says. "In addition to Atomizer Racing Injectors we also have Summit Racing on board and Stroud Safety and Jerry Bickel Race Cars so far."
As a longtime MWPMS marketing partner, Atomizer Racing Injectors owner Jack French says it didn't take much to convince him to also step up and support the series' NHRA outing.
"The NHRA is a big deal. I mean, they started the whole drag racing thing, so for them to have this outlaw Pro Mod deal with the Mid-West Series for the first time ever is a big deal, too," he insists. "Plus it's at the Texas Motorplex, which is a great race track, so I think it's important for us to step up and show the whole world we're supportive because the exposure is good within NHRA and through the online and TV coverage and so forth. I just think it's important to let everybody know that we're behind any new growth that we can possibly be a part of.
"And I think the NHRA fans in Texas are going to just absolutely go crazy over the Mid-West Pro Mod Series," French adds. "I'm also really impressed that Keith was even able to get NHRA on board with an eighth-mile race when they already have their own Pro Mod quarter-mile class going. That's the most impressive accomplishment of this whole deal, in my opinion. That's a tough sell, a tough venue to break into."
For Haney, it confirms the last three years of building up the MWPMS has been a worthwhile pursuit on many fronts--with still more to come.
"This is the dream," he repeats. "I mean it. It's a dream for me and I hope it's just a dream come true for all these great guys that I race for, with and against at every Mid-West Series event.
"And you know, if they don't think I love them by now, they've got another thing coming. I want them to know I do this because I love racing and I love providing a place for all these great racers to race. They may not like my rules sometimes, or they may not like the series' rules; heck, they may not even like me, but they've still got a great place to race for a good purse and safe racetracks. And at the end of the day, living the dream is what it's all about for all of us."
Fans interested in attending the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals can save $10 on adult tickets Friday-Sunday by purchasing online at and using promo code: MWPMS.


Photo cutline (NHRA_TM_2018 FallNats.jpg): Last year's AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals drew huge crowds to the Texas Motorplex, where the stars of the Summit Mid-West Pro Mod Series will compete Oct. 17-20, within the 2019 NHRA FallNationals.
Photo cutline (MWPMS_E16 Motorplex 2018_DSteinke): In 2018, the Mid-West Pro Mod Series staged its first "all-star" event, the Elite 16 at the Texas Motorplex. Several MWPMS E16 participants will be invited to participate again Oct. 17-20, but this time as guests of the NHRA within the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.   
Photos courtesy NHRA/MWPMS/Damon Steinke
The Summit 
Racing Equipment Mid-West Pro Mod Series is an all-eighth-mile, no-profit organization funded entirely through marketing partnerships and passed along to benefit MWPMS host tracks. 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 (, plus an extensive social-media presence, texts and e-mail blasts, and live-streaming commercials during all events. Complete class rules are posted on the MWPMS website.