Whiteley scores runner-up finish in Reynolds REYNOLDS, Ga. - NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Jim Whiteley and the YNot Racing Team may have conceded the 'divisional' war, but scored what may be a victory on the national points front with a ...
Whiteley scores runner-up finish in Reynolds
REYNOLDS, Ga. - NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Jim Whiteley and the YNot Racing Team may have conceded the 'divisional' war, but scored what may be a victory on the national points front with a runner-up finish at this past weekend's Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series closer at Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds, Ga. Whiteley needed to win the event to clinch the Division 7 Championship, but moved to third in national standings.
Whiteley, an entrepreneur from Grand Junction, Colo., qualified his Norm Grimes tuned blown alcohol dragster sixth in the field with a 5.427 second elapsed time at 264.55 mph. In round one, he took out Division 2 Champion Aaron Olivarez with a 5.394 at 265.17 mph, then took out this year's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals champ Marty Thacker with a 5.360 at 265.43 mph in the semifinals.
In the final, Whiteley took the holeshot off the line with a .049 to .099 reaction time advantage over his opponent, defending Division 1 Champion Daniel Mercier. Whiteley's hopes of victory quickly went up in smoke as his mount lost traction, giving Mercier the easy win.
"It was a good weekend for us," said Whiteley. "Norm and the guys found an issue with the car that has been a problem since we won Englishtown. We also made some changes that helped the car react better, which showed in my reaction times. I think everyone was surprised at the numbers everyone was running this weekend. The track was pretty good all weekend. It cooled off pretty good for the final, and we just missed the set up and smoked the tires."
With the runner-up, Whiteley finishes second in Division 7 standings, a mere 11 points behind newly-crowned champ Duane Shields. In national standings, he is a mere 20 points out of second place in third. After crashing at the season opening event in Pomona, Calif., Whiteley went on to score one win and three runner-up finishes on the divisional level to couple with national event wins in Topeka, Kan., and Englishtown, N.J.
"We would have liked to get the win and win the Division 7 Championship," stated Whiteley. "But it's still been a great year to come do as well as we have in points after the crash. That car was totaled and we missed a few races building a new car."
Whiteley's TAD wasn't the only cars out of the YNot stable on the track. Whiteley's wife Annie and her twin sister Anita Pulliam both compete identical '32 Bantam Altereds in the Top Dragster category. Both of the sisters took round one exits after trying to sort out their new high-powered 632 cubic inch MadCap Racing Engines.
The next event for the YNot Racing team will be the season-ending Automobile Club of Southern California Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif. There Whiteley will battle it out with Tom Bayer for second place in national standings.
"We just want to go out to Pomona and finish strong," commented Whiteley. "The points will fall where they will. Another strong finish will give us momentum going into next year."