Six years after entering the Top Alcohol Dragster class, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster racer Jim Whiteley and his YNot Racing team have finally achieved their goal – a National Championship. Whiteley used another dominating performance at this past weekend’s AAA Texas Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex just south of Dallas to clinch the 2012 Top Alcohol Dragster National Championship.
Whiteley, from Grand Junction, Colo., qualified his Norm Grimes tuned blown alcohol dragster on top of the field with a 5.284 second elapsed time at 270.92 mph. In round one, he took out Darvin Martinets with a 5.284 at 273.66, and then took out Lee Callaway in round two with a 5.277 at 273.00. In the semifinals he slowed to a 5.318 at 272.28, but still had enough muscle to defeat Monroe Guest.
That set the stage for a pivotal showdown with the last national title challenger left, Chris Demke. Whiteley needed to win the round to clinch the Championship and did just that with a low elapsed time of the event 5.275 at 271.68 mph to defeat Demke’s 5.739 at 263.77 mph.
“The whole weekend was just pretty darn cool,” said Whiteley. “We have been doing this since 2006 and we have got close a couple times, but we finally closed the deal. It really hasn’t quite set in yet we finally did it. It’s going to be pretty fun the rest of the year being able to race without the pressure. Our last goal is we want to win the Western Regional Championship in a few weeks in Vegas.”
Whiteley was quick to credit title contenders Demke and former five-time National Champion Bill Reichert for a tough battle.
“I really have to tip my hat to Chris Demke and the Maddern Racing team,” commented Whiteley. “He has done a hell of a job the last few races driving that car and cutting killer lights down the stretch when it counted. Jerry Maddern and his guys have really made that hot rod fly. I also feel bad for Reichert losing in the first round on a red light. That’s a tough way to go down with all of the emotion and tension. I know because I’ve been there before.
“I really have to thank Norm and the crew for giving me a great car this weekend and all year,” Whiteley continued. “They gave me a super car in the final, and I really left a lot on the table with my .102 light, but in the end we got the win. I also have to thank Goodyear for a great tire and support, NGK Spark Plugs, J & A Services and Advanced Oilfield Services for their support this year.”
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