Whiteleys finish first, second in Lucas Oil Nationals
Jim Whiteley and Annie Whiteley nearly joined each other in the winners circle for the second time.
The YNot Racing team drag racers from Grand Junction each reached the final of the NHRA Lucas Oil Series Nationals last weekend in Brainerd, Minn., Jim won the Top Alcohol Dragster title and Annie took second in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class.
Jim won his third national event this season and 17th of his career. He defeated Chase Copeland in the final with a 5.40 elapsed time at 266.37 mph. Copeland had a perfect reaction time, but lost traction, allowing Whiteley to win.
Whiteley won three elimination rounds to reach the final, posting a faster reaction time in all three victories.
Whiteley remains in first place in the Top Alcohol Dragster national points standings with 765 points. Chris Demke is second with 658 points.
Annie Whiteley moved up to second in the NHRA Lucas Oil National Top Alcohol Funny Car points standings with her runner-up finish at Brainerd, Minn.
“We would have liked to get the win, but we are very happy making it to our first final,” she said in a news release. “It would have been really neat to win with Jim, but hopefully we will have another shot at that down the road. I really have to thank Roger and the crew. They do such a great job with the car. They really deserve a lot of the credit for our success this year.”
Whiteley qualified her Roger Bateman tuned 2011 Mustang second in the field with a 5.593-second elapsed time at 259.11 mph. She defeated Bruce Carlson in the first round with a 5.791 elapsed time at 249.95 mph, then eliminated last year’s winner Kris Hool in the semifinals with a 5.689 elapsed time at 254.86 mph.
Perennial class champion Frank Manzo, who is leading the national points standings, defeated Whiteley in the final. Manzo ran a 5.528 at 261.02 mph. Whiteley ran a 5.708 at 257.24 mph.