Jim Whiteley hopes to join wife as Western Regional Top Alcohol winner
Professional top alcohol drag racer Jim Whiteley and his wife have a chance at history this weekend.
If Whiteley can win the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Western Regional top alcohol final at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, they will be the first husband and wife Western Regional Top Alcohol winners in the same year.
Jim and Annie Whiteley live in Grand Junction and own J&A Services.
Annie Whiteley won the Western Regional Top Alcohol Funny Car title last weekend in Las Vegas in her fourth start in the top alcohol funny car.
“I’m still on cloud nine,” she said in a press release on Thursday. “Last weekend was pretty amazing. It is finally starting to set in. I don’t think any of us on the team expected to get a win this quickly. It definitely has helped morale and has us motivated to try to go win more.”
Jim Whiteley was in the top alcohol dragster final last weekend against Chris Demke when the wind blew a piece of debris through the finish line during their finals run, nullifying the run. The race will take place during the third qualifying session of the SummitRacing.com Nationals beginning today at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“It got pretty windy before the final,” Whiteley said in a press release. “The track is so good in Vegas, almost too good. We didn’t have enough wheel speed in the final and it got into some heavy tire shake and I was forced to pedal.
“From talking to Chris (Demke), I think the same thing happened to them. It was a pretty close race all the way down. Whether we would have won or lost, I really hate the fact that run didn’t count. We completely understand the decision NHRA had to make in re-running the final this weekend.”
Jim Whiteley, though, was more happy for his wife.
“I think it was one of my happiest moments in all of my racing,” he said in the press release. “We ran the dragster final before the Funny Car final, so I was down on the top end and got to help Annie get out of the car. It was a pretty special moment. Hopefully we cap the race off by winning the final in dragster this weekend.”
Jim Whiteley is the four-time defending NHRA Division 7 (Pacific) Top Alcohol Dragster champion.