Whiteley rolls to second straight win

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					                             TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER — 12th annual United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals, June 4-7, Chicago
                             Whiteley rolls to second straight win




Jim Whiteley (right), with his wife, Annie; scored his second national event win in as many weeks and third of the
season with a final-round victory over Brandon Lewis. (Above) Whiteley, near lane, won easily with a 5.32 after Lewis
had problems and shut off.
by Steve Waldron                                            conditions. Fortunately, [the conditions] played in
                                                            our favor.”

J   ust a week after his victory in Topeka, Jim
    Whiteley continued his winning ways in Chicago,
outlasting one of the quickest fields in Top Alcohol
                                                               Luck was also on Whiteley’s side. After a 5.38 to
                                                            5.46 come-from-behind victory over Ed Schmeeckle in
                                                            round one, he rattled the tires and slowed to a 5.54
Dragster history for his third national event win of        against Jegs Allstars runner-up Chris Demke in round
the season and eighth of his career.                        two. Fortunately for Whiteley, Demke’s dragster
   “Everything just seems to be going our way,” said        backfired the supercharger early in the run and coasted
Whiteley, who beat Brandon Lewis in the final to            to an 11.77. Whiteley then ran a 5.36 in an easy
extend his winning streak to eight rounds. “We’re           semifinal victory over a tire-smoking Courtney Force.
getting the breaks when we need them, and Norm                 “I’d been struggling with my reaction times, but
[Grimes, crew chief] and the guys have the car              we changed something on the car for the race against
running great.”                                             Chris,” said Whiteley, who, after giving up nearly six-
   Whiteley qualified his blown alcohol dragster            hundredths on the Tree against Schmeeckle in the
fourth behind a trio of A/Fuelers with a 5.316, one         opening round, cut back-to-back .02 lights against
of his six 5.3-second runs and his quickest of the          Demke and Force. “I’d rather not say what, but after
weekend. With the exception of a tire-shaking 5.54 in       we did, I had [consecutive] lights that were really
round two, Whiteley’s worst run was a 5.38.                 close. It was just a visual thing. I was having trouble
    “I’m just tickled the way things turned out             seeing. We knew it had to be something with the car,           “His motor didn’t sound right on the burnout,”
because I was a little skeptical about whether we’d         and, hopefully, that’s what it was.”                        said Whiteley, who left first and ran a 5.32 against
do that well here,” said Whiteley, whose final-                Lewis, who hadn’t won a round in his first five          Lewis’ shutoff 9.17. “I don’t know if they knew they
round appearance was his fourth in six races this           races this season, qualified his TigerFlow Systems-         had a problem when they went up there or what.”
year. “But Dirk [Olsen], my business partner, had           sponsored A/Fuel Dragster sixth with a 5.33 and,               Whiteley, who also won the at the season opener
a lot of fun last year, and he wanted to come back.         after defeating a red-lighting Marty Thacker in round       in Pomona and was runner-up at the divisional race
I told him it’s not probably the best place to come         one, ran 5.38 and 5.40 in victories over Chase              in Las Vegas, moved into second place in the
when you’re chasing points; not so much because             Copeland and Ken Perry, respectively. Unfortunately         national standings with his victory, just 20 points
of the quality of cars but because of the air               for Lewis, he smoked the tires in the final.                behind three-time defending national champion Bill
                                                                                                                        Reichert, who lost in round one.
                                                                                                                           “We’re sitting pretty good,” said Whiteley, who
                                                                                                                        thanked his wife, Annie; crewmembers, Olsen, Alan
                                                                                                                        Russell, John Layfield, Don Pulliam, Tim Nunes, and
                                                                                                                        Mike and Shirlene Kramer; and sponsors, HG Co.,
                                                                                                                        Goodyear, NGK, J&A Service, Raptor Industries, and
                                                                                                                        Advanced Oil Field Service. “I feel if we’re on our
                                                                                                                        game we can run just about anywhere, and if I can
                                                                                                                        cut .02 and .03 lights, we’ve got a chance.”

                                                                                                                        The key race: “We certainly got lucky against
                                                                                          
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Whiteley, who also won the at the season opener in Pomona and was runner-up at the divisional race in Las Vegas, moved into second place in the national standings with his victory, just 20 points behind three-time defending national champion Bill Reichert, who lost in round one. The secondgeneration racer, who drove a Top Alcohol Funny Car for two seasons before switching classes in April 2007, was runner-up in Topeka in 2007 in his first national event start in Top Alcohol Dragster and also runner-upped in Sonoma that year.
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