At the rescheduled Mid-West Drag Racing Series season opener, held at Tulsa Raceway Park in conjunction with the Throwdown in T-Town, talented driver/crew chief Brandon Snider, subbing for team owner and driver Steven Whiteley, did all a replacement driver could possibly do: he won.
Snider, a former NHRA championship runner-up who expertly calls the mechanical shots for Whiteley’s J&A Service ’69 Camaro, ascended from the 16th and last spot in the field to win it all, single-handedly topping some of the biggest names in MWDRS Pro Mod racing in the process. The weekend, which ended with both Snider and Top Alcohol Funny Car teammate Annie Whiteley in the winner’s circle, got off to a harrowing start when Snider barely squeaked into the program, 16th of 17 entrants on the grid.
The YNot Racing team came to life in the first round of eliminations when Snider stormed to a 3.71 at 204.29 mph, a time good enough to have qualified in the top three, to easily dispatch No. 1 qualifier Ron Muenks (3.66), who slowed to a troubled 4.99 at just over 100 mph. Veteran Ed Thornton was the next to go, falling in the second round to the Atmore, Ala., driver’s torrid 3.71 with a not-bad 3.78. Snider left first by more than a tenth with a fine .039 reaction time that actually was his slowest of the event, and followed by taking out both track co-owners in the late rounds – Todd Martin in the semifinals and Keith Haney in the final.
Snider’s best reaction time of the event kept him in front from start to finish against Martin, who came closer to beating him than anyone did all weekend. Martin was right on time with a .026 reaction time, but Snider had him covered with a clutch .012. The final was over quickly when Snider, who never trailed at any point in any round and got quicker and faster every time, trounced Haney’s aborted 4.91/104 with a smooth 3.68/205.