Tag: Brandon Snider

PRO MOD – MARTIN

Back behind the wheel of one of the fastest Pro Mods on the eighth-mile instead of tuning it for Steven Whiteley as he has all year, talented driver/tuner Brandon Snider qualified near the top and drove to a semifinal finish at the U.S. 131 Nationals. At Martin, one of the crown jewels on the Mid-West Drag Racing Series’ eight-race tour, Snider showed the form that made him one of the more feared drivers on the NHRA circuit, where he won multiple events and came within a round of the 2020 championship.

“It’s great to have a crew chief who can drive the car when you can’t,” said Whiteley, whose focus was on the YNot Racing Top Dragster driven by Delaina, who’s just as much in contention for a championship in her class as he is in his. “I didn’t have help on Delaina’s car this weekend – we knew that ahead of time – so I concentrated just on her car. One of the great things about this Mid-West deal is that you can substitute a driver and not lose any points.”

As the MWDRS season resumed following a three-month break since St. Louis, Snider picked up right where Whiteley left off, wheeling the J&A Service/YNot Racing team’s immaculate ’69 Camaro to an outstanding 3.65 at 205 mph for the No. 4 spot in the all-3-second 16-car lineup. Series newcomer and eventual winner Preston Tanner paced the field with a run just a couple hundredths of a second quicker than Snider’s 3.65, a 3.62/204.

In the first round, in all-Camaro showdown with Mike Recchia, Snider was out first with a .024 reaction time and came out on top in a great race, 3.68/206 to 3.73/203. When the sun set for the quarterfinals, Snider picked up to a 3.66/205 to erase the close 3.72/201 of second-generation racer Jackie Sloan Jr. and set up a semifinal showdown with Tanner.

Tanner, who would go on to score in his MWDRS debut, got off the mark first with a telepathic reaction time and held off Snider’s quicker 3.61/208 for a 3.64/203 holeshot win. “When we want to test and I can’t be there, Brandon always drives, so it was just like having me in there,” Whiteley said. “Having him drive was a no-brainer. He knows what the car’s doing from the inside, tuned that way for years – that’s what makes him so good.”

TAFC – LAS VEGAS 2021

Brandon Snider’s highly anticipated NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car debut didn’t end in a storybook victory, but this weekend, for once, that wasn’t really the point. At the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals – the first time alcohol cars have ever raced four at a time – the stated objective for Annie Whiteley’s J&A/YNot team was to further develop their torque-converter setup, a goal more than achieved.

Snider, the former PDRA champ who came within a round of the 2020 NHRA Pro Mod championship, just got his Funny Car license and had never driven one to the quarter-mile. “I’d already done the four-wide thing in Charlotte, so that was no big deal,” he said. “It’s everything else that’s completely different. A Funny Car is harder to drive than a Pro Mod, for one thing. It’s fast. Sitting behind the engine, having that body dropped down over you – it takes a little getting used to. In a Pro Mod, you make tiny little corrections going down the track. This thing, you really have to crank the wheel to get the car to go where you want it to go. To a door-car guy, everything about a Funny Car is just wrong.”

Despite that, Snider laid down one quick, consistent run after another at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, four in all, beginning with a 5.608 at 259.06 mph in the second session that qualified him firmly in the middle of the field. He followed with a 5.555/261.57 and a 5.583/260.11 for the No. 5 spot and appeared to enter eliminations with a clear advantage despite having less experience in a Funny Car than anyone in the lineup.

Snider was the only Top Alcohol Funny Car driver with any experience on a four-wide Tree, but when the Tree dropped, it was he who left too soon with a -.176 red-light, invalidating his quickest, fastest run of the weekend and low e.t. of the quad, 5.554/262.54. Nick Januik (5.555) and Aryan Rochon (5.623) advanced, and 2017 NHRA champion Shane Westerfield joined Snider on the sidelines with a third-best 5.66.

“Nobody wants to red-light, but we still learned a lot this weekend,” Snider said. “People think a converter just won’t work in a Funny Car, but how hard has anyone ever really tried? It’ll work. Clutches have been around forever. We’re just getting started with this thing, and I think we can be more consistent than the clutch cars when the weather gets hot. By the end of the year, we might just be running all the way to the quarter-mile like them.”

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