Annie Whiteley set low e.t. of the meet and had top speed until the penultimate round of eliminations en route to a quarterfinal finish at the NHRA Summit Racing Nationals that solidified her hold on a Top 5 spot in the national standings.

Whiteley, a four-time winner on the national circuit with more than a dozen victories in regional competition, qualified the J&A/YNot Racing Camaro a solid 3rd in the Top Alcohol Funny Car field with an outstanding 5.53. She unloaded a 5.50-flat at more than 270 mph in the opening round of eliminations to establish low e.t. for the entire weekend and easily eliminate Canadian Tyler Scott, whose Larry Dobbs entry now is tuned by ex-YNot crew chief Roger Bateman.

In the second round against Chris Foster, who would go on to his third career runner-up finish at this event, Whiteley slipped to a 5.59 and lost a photo-finish match to Foster’s 5.62. Foster fought his car off the wall for much of the run but maintained the lead to win by the invisible margin of just seven-thousandths of a second.

“It shook and I had to short-shift 2nd gear,” Whiteley said. “That 5.50 was perfect, and you can’t help but wonder, ‘Why couldn’t I have run the .59 in the first round, when anything would have done, and the .50 that time?’ but there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s just the way things have been going lately.”