TULSA, Okla. (Oct. 16) – Keith Haney took “Notorious” to the final round of the Osage Casino Throw Down in T-Town.
Trying to win at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park, the track he co-owns with Todd Martin, Haney took the Lucas Oil/RacingJunk.com Chevrolet nicknamed “Notorious” to the final round of the Pro Boost/Pro Nitrous class.
There, Haney made a rare mistake behind the wheel, and he drew a red light against Ron Muenks.
“I had the car to win the whole race,” Haney said. “I just didn’t execute as a driver. I’ll call myself out, just I like I would anyone else on the team, and we end up with a runner-up finish.”
Haney went red by .121 seconds after a mistake with the transbrake button, but he was happy with the quicker pass: 3.824 seconds at 199.35 mph to Muenks’ 3.832-second pass at 196.87 mph.
“It seems like every Throw Down, we have an oildown, and I have to sit in my car an extra15 minutes, and I get really calm,” Haney said. “When I get calm, I get fast. We do our burnout, backup and pull forward. I set my transbrake, and when I do the car rocks. I think when it rocked, my finger came off the transbrake.”
Still, Haney was thrilled with the performance of Notorious, which raced with an entirely new tuneup after Haney and his Keith Haney Racing team decided to make some major changes. Tuners Brandon Switzer and Brandon Pesz and the entire KHR went back to a setup the team used earlier in the year, changing shock absorbers, four-link settings, ride-height settings, weight distribution, among other things.
“It was awesome,” Haney said. “We had a team meeting, and we decided it was time to make a change in the program because the last three races, we’d not been competitive in our opinion. We made a collective decision to change the car back to the way it was at the beginning of the year when we were good.”
Haney made three test runs with the car before speeding to the No. 1 spot in the second qualifying session with a pass of 3.800 seconds at 201.61 mph.
“I make a decision before Q3 to sit it out,” Haney said. “I left the race track to go help coach my fourth-grade football team. I was worried about someone taking the No. 1 spot away from me, but my family and my kids are part of my life, and I felt like I needed to go.”
While he was gone, Haney’s crew continued to text him with updates of Q3.
“I’m on edge the whole time,” Haney said. “But I end up holding everybody off and keeping the No. 1 spot for Pro Nitrous/Pro Boost.”
In the first round of eliminations, he faced Ken Singleton – who happened to be driving a car owned by Martin.
“I ended up having to run my partner at the race track’s car,” Haney said. “The fastest they’d been all weekend was a .92, and we put an .85 tuneup in it. We knew what he had.”
As Singleton slowed with a problem, Haney made a pass of 3.857 at 198.64 mph to get the win. Haney then knocked off buddy Tim Savell in the semifinals with a pass of 3.825 seconds at 199.73 mph.
Then came the fateful final round.
Sponsors Lucas Oil, RacingJunk.com, Switzer Dynamics, Pesz Performance & Tuning, Reher Morrison, M&M Transmission and Adam Lambert from Precision Racing Suspension help make Haney’s PDRA team possible, and he continues to appreciate the support from wife Dee and his children Timber, Alex, Madison and Logan.
Haney’s family of car dealerships includes Suburban Chevrolet in Claremore; Classic Chevrolet in Owasso, Okla.; Miami Auto Supercenter in Miami, Okla.; Regional Hyundai in Broken Arrow, Okla.; Nissan of Muskogee, Okla.; and Bartlesville (Okla.) Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.