The biggest race in all of drag racing, which two-time world champion Jim Whiteley won in his second of two championship seasons in Top Alcohol Dragster, wasn’t kind to the J&A Service/YNot Racing Pro Mod team this year. Teammate Annie Whiteley, who has reached at least the semifinals of Top Alcohol Funny Car at Indy almost every year in her career, did so again this year, but neither of the YNot Pro Mods made the field – not that they didn’t run hard.
Both Jim Whiteley and son Steven ran well down into the 5.80s, but neither Jim’s ’69 Camaro nor Steven’s late model Camaro was quite fast enough to qualify, which at Indy required a 5.85. At the first stop on the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod tour since Norwalk in June, Jim missed the cut by a hundredth of a second with a 5.86 at 245 mph and Steven fell short by two-hundredths with a 5.87 at 246. Jim wound up 18th on the final qualifying ladder, Steven 20th.
“We got a little greedy,” Steven admitted. “We just bolted the converter back in the week before the race, and that’s not the easiest way to go. [Trans-brake] button racing is nothing new to me – I’m an old Top Sportsman racer – but when you’re racing all the turbo guys and “Stevie Fast” [Jackson] and all these people who’ve been running one all year, it’s kinda tough. We’ll go back to what we know, finish out the year, and go from there.”