MURPHY'S LAW LOCKS UP HANEY FOR A WEEKEND
Drag racing can often be a survival of the fittest competition. Keith Haney knows this all too well after his experience last weekend at the St. Louis Midwest Pro Modified Series [MWPMS] event during the Anarchy at the Arch event.
The action for Haney began before his team even arrived at the track, northeast on I-44, approaching the halfway point of their 400-mile trip, when a tire suddenly let go on the trailer, forcing an emergency stop at the next available exit in tiny Mount Vernon, Missouri.
“We got so lucky, we get off the exit and boom, there's a tire place right there,” recalled Haney. “It would have taken us probably two or three hours to change that tire ourselves, but we go in, they tell us where to park, jack it up, change the tire, and in less than 30 minutes we’re back in business.
“So I ask, ‘How much do I owe you?’ and they answer with, ‘Nothing, you owe us nothing.’ It turns out the guys there follow me on Facebook and the manager’s friend races at Tulsa Raceway Park, the track I own with Todd Martin, so I'm just stunned,” Haney admitted. “It ended up we paid them with swag. We gave everyone in the place Keith Haney Racing hats. So, Southwest Fleet Service in Mount Vernon, thank you! And anyone ever in the area needing tire service, I can’t recommend them enough; they did a great job, too.”
Unfortunately, the mishaps didn’t end there. Shortly after arriving at Gateway and setting up in the pits, Haney was lying near the back of the trailer hooking up an air-line when a crewmember accidentally lowered the trailer’s heavy lift gate on his right foot.
“My guys were lowering down the golf cart and I had the front part of my foot just far enough under so that it got crushed. It was swollen immediately, looked like a football, so of course I went to the coach, put ice on it and kept it elevated, but within a couple of hours I was convinced to go to the hospital."
Luckily, the X-rays revealed no broken bones for Haney, but with significant tissue damage beneath the skin, a prescription for pain control and elevated rest was in order. That meant he missed Thursday night’s opening round of qualifying, but by Friday afternoon Haney was feeling better, the medication had worn off and he felt ready to try on his Stand 21 driving shoe.
“It wasn’t easy getting it on, but once I did it felt just as tight as the compression bandage it replaced,” Haney says. “After about 45 minutes I tested out walking on it and then got in the car to see if I could work the gas pedal. When that worked I told my guys to get the car ready ‘cause we were going racing!”
However, transmission troubles in both of Haney’s qualifying attempts left him outside what turned out to be the quickest 16-car field in MWPMS history with a 3.78 bump spot. With only Saturday’s final qualifying session available the pressure to perform was intense, but Haney managed only a 3.80 that relegated him to the unique MWPMS Slammers class for non-qualifiers that also allows buybacks for qualifiers eliminated from round one of Pro Mod racing.
“I’ll admit it was disappointing, but we just faced one issue after another and it eventually caught up to us,” Haney said.