Career-Best Numbers Highlight Haney's Elite 16
TULSA, OK (November 27, 2018) -- Randy Merick picked
up the trophy and a $50,000 check for winning the
inaugural Elite 16 event presented by Elite
Motorsports and the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS),
but MWPMS owner and Elite 16 promoter Keith Haney
left the Texas Motorplex early this month feeling
every bit as fulfilled and satisfied.
"The Elite 16 achieved exactly what we were hoping
for in bringing together some of the absolute best
Pro Mod racers from many different backgrounds and
sanctioning bodies and putting them head-to-head on
one of the fastest tracks in the country," stated
Haney, who also participated in the Elite 16 with
"Notorious," his nitrous-boosted 2014 Camaro Pro
Run before a limited-admission crowd of just 1,000
spectators, the $50K-to-win Elite 16 attracted 30
Pro Modified entries attempting to qualify for the
16-car field. After a practically unprecedented
eight rounds of qualifying were in the books, MWPMS
regular Brandon Pesz sat atop the Elite list with a
3.61-seconds pass at 208.75 mph over the Motorplex
eighth mile, closely followed by Jonas Aleshire,
Jason Hamstra, and eventual Elite 16 victor Randy
Merick. A special second-chance race for Elite 16
non-qualifiers also paid out $10,000 to winner Ron
Haney, meanwhile, ran a solid 3.77 in testing, but
drivetrain problems cropped up for the Tulsa-based
new car dealer in the early qualifying rounds.
"We changed the transmission twice before Mark Micke
fixed it and we had the rearend out of it, too. Then
we put everything back together and that's when we
started to go fast," Haney said. "I finally got
qualified in Q7 with a 3.71 at 202 miles an hour,
which was a career best E.T. for me.
"I had my crew chief, Brandon Switzer, tuning me
remotely from another race he was at in North
Carolina and next thing you know we go up there for
Q8 and we go 3.70 at 203.43 miles an hour! Career
best, fastest I'd ever been in the eighth with a
Reher-Morrison motor and one thing about it was it
really should've been a .69, but I deep-staged it,
so that cost us a little bit in elapsed time."
Regardless, it put Haney 14th overall in the Elite
16 and paired him up for the opening round of racing
on Saturday with fellow MWPMS racer Wayne Roberts
and his unique Whipple-blown C7 Corvette. Roberts
was inserted into third place as first alternate
after Hamstra's engine was damaged beyond repair the
previous night in the MWPMS regular-season final
against winner and new Frankenstein Engine Dynamics
MWPMS champion Jonas Aleshire.
When the lights came down, Haney got away first and
never looked back, going 3.76 at almost exactly 200
mph while Roberts was forced to shut down early.
"But then I ran up against my partner at Tulsa
Raceway Park, Todd Martin, and I ended up going red.
So my mistake, I ended up going faster than him, but
you know what? He made a good pass and got the win,"
Haney said of a 3.77 that lost to Martin's 3.79 in
his supercharged "Lethal Threat" '68 Mustang.
"But our weekend was amazing. Between testing,
qualifying and racing, we made 15 total passes that
weekend, and all with the same motor, no damage
other than the transmission issues," he continued.
"In fact, I really couldn't be any happier with the
performance of the car and the way my guys
performed. We went from qualifying for the Elite 16
and made it down to the Elite 8, and I owe that to
my team: Dale Hancock, Andrew Arnold, Cale Hancock,
Shane Goodnight, Tyler, Misty Hayes, and of course,
Brandon Switzer tuning over the Internet. I can't
say enough about him. I enjoyed them all, the great
camaraderie, and I saw so many smiles all weekend on
so many happy people. They were all just awesome and
it was just a great event, a great way for us to end
the year," Haney said.
"I also have to thank all my tremendous sponsors and
partners, but I especially want to congratulate
Randy Merick on getting the Elite 16 win and showing
the world what our Mid-West Pro Mod guys are all
about. He did a really great job, as did all the
racers who showed up, and I can tell you we already
have the 2nd annual Elite 16 race lined up for
November 1st and 2nd next year and it'll be even
bigger and better than the first one," he predicted.
"We've had a major, major sponsor get in touch with
us and they're interested in helping us raise the
purse for next year, so all I can say right now is
to stay tuned. Things are going to get even bigger
In the meantime, the nine-event 2019 MWPMS season
will open Mar. 1-2, at the Texas Motorplex, with
additional races at Tulsa; Bowling Green, KY; St.
Louis; Ferris, TX; and Chicago.
Photos by Damon Steinke/E3xtreme
ABOUT KEITH HANEY RACING
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Keith Haney Racing (www.keithhaneyracing.com)
fields two cars in the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS),
as well as for select NHRA and PDRA races and
one-off special events. Keith Haney Racing
appreciates the support of sponsors Summit Racing
Equipment, Lucas Oil, Strange Engineering,
Kryptonite Kustomz, RacingJunk.com, Reher-Morrison
Racing Engines, MoTeC Systems USA, Switzer Dynamics,
Brandon Pesz Performance & Tuning, M&M Transmission,
Menscer Motorsports, Total Seal, Mickey Thompson,
Browell Bellhousing, Rickie Smith Racing, and Larry
Jeffers Race Cars.