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.”