Photo: Ricky Ritchie, Bland Bridenstine and Patrick Red Williams.
Keith Haney and his Keith Haney Racing team will be returning to Professional Drag Racers Association competition this weekend after an eventful and successful Throw Down in T-Town. Haney raced to the Pro Nitrous final at the track he co-owns with Todd Martin, Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park.
Haney and his KHR team are gearing up to head to Texas Motorplex for the PDRA’s third race of the 2016 season.
“Reher-Morrison already has the motor apart and put new sleeves in it,” said Haney of an engine hurt at the Throw Down. “We’re getting it all fixed back up, and we’ll be in Texas this coming weekend trying to drag all their asses there.”
Notorious, Haney’s Lucas Oil/RacingJunk.com Camaro, won the No. 1 qualifying spot at Tulsa and raced to the final round.
Haney had the No. 1 spot after the first qualifying session before being bumped down, but he was able to recapture the No. 1 spot with his final session pass of 3.785 seconds at 200.74 mph.
“I don’t think it came down until right around 450, 500 feet,” Haney said. “All I was looking at was the sky. It was going straight, so I wasn’t worried about it.
In addition to winning the No. 1 qualifying spot, Haney won a grudge match against Jim Sackuvich during Q2.
“I got a little revenge back there from my buddy,” Haney said.
After winning the first round of eliminations against Mike Cooper, Haney started to have some troubles.
“Everything was going great, and then I had a big ol’ nitrous explosion,” said Haney. “The hood scoop pops off, the front end splits, but I ended up winning the round anyway.”
The incident was caused by a spark-plug wire that had come loose, Haney’s team discovered later on.
“We came back and rushed, and with the help of a few other teams, we got it back together,” said Haney. “They fixed the hood scoop while we were working on the motor. We got it back together and got up there for E2 and got lucky.”
In the semifinals, Haney discovered he had very low oil pressure while backing up from the burnout and couldn’t make the run. His opponent, Bob Storie, was also having problems as his car wouldn’t start. Haney took to the Christmas Tree, broke the beam, turned the car off, and got the round-win.
“In the meantime, we had a [cylinder] sleeve that was cracked from one end to the other,” Haney said. “We had about 9 inches of pan vac, which is nothing; we normally run 20 inches. The only thing we could do to the sleeve was doctor it.”
“Laptop Brandon” Switzer was away from the track, but was able to pull fuel and nitrous out of the ailing No. 1 cylinder through the internet.
“It was hurt bad,” Haney said. “[Switzer] said, ‘Hey, the car’s probably not going to make it to the finish line in the final round. What do you want to do?’ I said, ‘Doctor it all you can and let’s hope for the best.'”
On the line, Ron Muenks got off first, but Haney quickly chased him down and the two were in a tight race for the win.
“I’d caught him at the 330 mark,” said Haney. “It was neck and neck all the way down the racetrack, but just past the 330 mark, the motor goes away and starts sending a fireworks show out for all our fans.”
Haney’s pass was 3.816 at 192 mph – on seven cylinders – but he came up short of the win.
“They only won because the motor gave out,” said Haney with a laugh. “I still had the fastest car on the property all weekend.”
Haney continues to appreciate support from sponsors Lucas Oil, RacingJunk.com, Switzer Dynamics, Pesz Performance & Tuning, Reher-Morrison, M&M Transmission, and Adam Lambert from Precision Racing Suspension, as well as his wife Dee and children Timber, Alex, Madison, and Logan.
“We got a runner-up finish again,” said Haney. “Not what I was shooting for. I was runner-up the year before, too. But we’re hoping for better in Dallas this weekend.”