Throughout Annie Whiteley’s career and especially lately, two things have always been true: she’s at her best in her old hometown, Tulsa, and she dominates rescheduled events. So when the Mid-West Drag Racing Series’ 2023 opener at Xtreme Raceway Park in Ferris, Texas, was postponed and rescheduled for Tulsa Raceway Park, victory was virtually assured.
With metronomic consistency and an overpowering performance, Whiteley prevailed once again, wheeling her Mike Strasburg-tuned J&A Service/YNot Racing “Shattered Glass” Camaro to a lopsided victory over MWDRS newcomer Mike Doushgounian in the final for her third career series win and an early lead in the 2023 Mid-West Top Alcohol Funny Car championship.
From the No. 2 qualifying position, Whiteley faced veteran Steve Macklyn in the first of two rounds of eliminations, advancing easily with a strong 3.72 at 208.88 when he faded with a shutoff 4.59 at just 146. Doushgounian won the other first-round matchup with a slightly quicker 3.70/209, defeating Jonathan Johnson, who was didn’t make it to the line in his first appearance back after a nasty top-end crash a couple years ago at Xtreme Raceway Park.
What shaped up to be a classic final did not disappoint. The blue Camaros of Whiteley and Doushgounian rocketed off the starting line almost simultaneously and were locked together side by side for the entire eighth-mile, with Whiteley emerging victorious by the almost invisible margin of 17-thousandths of a second. Even a .023 reaction time wouldn’t have been enough for her to win.
With a low-.020 or anything slower, she would have lost on a holeshot because Doushgounian was more than on time with a killer .013 reaction time, but Whiteley had this one all the way with a telepathic .005 reaction time, the best of her career. In one of the best races of this or any other season, she won, 3.70/209 to Doushgounian’s right-there 3.71/203, and the handwriting already is on the wall for later this season: The Throwdown in T-Town, set for the day after this race, was rained out and rescheduled for – you guessed it – Tulsa.