Tag: Brandon

PRO MOD – TULSA 1 2023

At the Throwdown in T-Town, the team’s first race back since lead driver Steven Whiteley crashed at Martin, Brandon Snider wheeled Jim Whiteley’s old Pro Mod Corvette to a semifinal finish while Steven looked on from the line.

“If I’m not going to be in there, I wouldn’t want anybody else driving my car,” Whiteley said. “You know exactly what it feels like in there, so you want it to be somebody you know. Somebody good – like Brandon.”

It may not have been the event win the team was after (arch-rival Keith Haney took that home) but a final-four finish at the first of two events over the weekend (the makeup of the rained-out Tulsa race originally scheduled for May 12-13) was just enough to keep the Whiteley/Snider crew in contention for the 2023 Mid-West Drag Racing Series title. Without it, Whiteley’s comeback win later in the weekend would have been almost moot, at least as far as the points standings are concerned.

Back in May, strapped into the same ’69 Camaro they began the season with, Snider qualified smack in the middle of the pack, 9th, with a 3.73 at 202.15 mph. In the first round, he easily handled Texas Pro Mod legend Frankie “Mad Man” Taylor in a lopsided affair, 3.69 to Taylor’s aborted 5.62.

Then the rain set in, the event was postponed for five months, and when Snider rolled into the beams for the second round, it was aboard the Tommy Mauney-built ’63 split-window Corvette driven for years by J&A Service/YNot Racing team leader Jim Whiteley. A semifinal win over Haney truly would have made for a storybook weekend, especially considering Whiteley’s clutch win over him later in the weekend, but it wasn’t to be this time as Haney edged Snider in a close one, 3.61 to 3.64.

“It’s all-out every time we run that guy,” Whiteley said. “But for some reason it never happens in the final. I’ve run Haney in a final once, but whenever we race each other head to head, it seems like it’s always in the semi’s. It just keeps going back and forth every time.”

PRO MOD – ST. LOUIS 1 2023

Steven Whiteley doesn’t particularly care who drives his car – talented driver/tuner Brandon Snider or him. To him, it still it isn’t that strange to stand on the starting line and watch his car charge down the track with someone else at the wheel.

“It really isn’t,” Whiteley insisted. “I get asked that a lot, but, first of all, it’s not my car – it’s my dad’s. I know Brandon’s driving style, and he’s good. Really good. He’s a lot better than I ever was. I’ll stage and wonder, ‘Did I do this right? Did I do that right? Is this the right rpm?’ He never thinks anything like that.”

At the rain-delayed Night of Fire & Thunder, contested in conjunction with the originally scheduled Heads-Up Hootenanny, Snider pulled off something even more important than winning: he took out rival Keith Haney, the biggest obstacle between Whiteley and his first Mid-West Drag Racing Series championship.

Snider proved his worth from the start, six weeks ago on the original date, when he tuned and drove the car to the No. 1 spot by more than a tenth and a half with a 3.69 at 205 mph, securing a first-round bye in the 13-car field. On that single, he came within thousandths of a second of low E.T. of the round with a 3.72/203, second only to hard-charging Mark Micke’s 3.71 at 215 mph, which was top speed of the meet by nearly 10 mph.

It set up a massive quarterfinal clash with Haney, which Snider won with a better light (.063 to .075) and a quicker (3.64 to 3.70) and faster (208 mph to 201 mph) pass. “The way he tunes the car shows how much more analytical he is than I am,” Whiteley modestly said. “I’m just a driver. I let go of the trans-brake button and send it, then tell Brandon what I felt when I get out of the car. He knows what’s going on the whole time – in or out of the seat.”

Snider then mowed down Jerry Hunter in the semi’s, 3.69/207 to Hunter’s slowing 3.85/187, but Micke grabbed the upper hand for the final on a 3.65/217 single. Picking up significantly to a 3.66/207, Snider gave the J&A Service/YNot Racing team a real chance in the final, but Micke ran him down before the eighth-mile with a superior 3.64/217.

“Brandon was winning,” Whiteley said, “but against that turbo car there’s not much you can do after half-track. He outran us, but that wasn’t the big thing for us this weekend. Beating Haney was the big thing, and Brandon beat him.”

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