Jim & Annie Whiteley: The family that practices together, wins together

Discussion in 'Alcohol Racing News' started by Will Hanna, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
    Staff Member

    May 6, 2003
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    Jim & Annie Whiteley: The family that practices together wins together

    Div 7 2012_lvms 016.JPG POMONA, Calif. – It has been quite the year for the Whiteley family and the YNot Racing Team. The husband and wife team that features Jim in Top Alcohol Dragster and Annie in Top Alcohol Funny Car will roll into Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., for this weekend’s Automobile Club of Southern California Finals with three Championships in hand – the Top Alcohol Dragster National Championship and both Western Region Top Alcohol titles. Both would love nothing more than to cap the year with one more win this weekend.

    After several years of near-misses on the national level, Jim put together one of the most dominating seasons in Top Alcohol Dragster history to finally secure the NHRA National Championship in addition to the Western Region Championship. Annie, in her rookie season behind the wheel of a Top Alcohol Funny Car, enjoyed one of the most impressive rookie campaigns in class history, winning five regional events en route to the NHRA Western Regional Championship. They are the first husband and wife to win a Regional or Divisional title together.

    Annie Pomona Burn.jpg Annie is quick to attribute her rise from a rookie hoping to learn to Champion to practice, both in the car and out of the car.

    “I have been fortunate to be able to make a lot of runs for a rookie,” said Annie. “I started testing in the car last year while Roger [Bateman – Crew Chief] was driving. I have made 112 runs in the car so far. I have learned a lot from mistakes – I have great teachers in Jim, Roger and the Strasburgs. Things are slowing down quite a bit in the car.”

    “I have really worked on my reaction times this year, too,” continued Annie. “Jim promised it would help if I practiced with him. Roger kept saying the good lights would come, and they did.”

    Jim, who started driving Top Alcohol Dragster in 2006, clinched this year’s National Championship on the strength of six national event wins and three regional event wins. When former Division 7 Champ Chris Demke lost in the first round of last weekend’s Western Region finale in Las Vegas, it clinched the Western Region Championship for him.

    “We would have liked to win the Championship by winning the event, but we were able to pull it out,” said Jim. “This has been such a special season. To see Annie develop and win the Championship has really been something. Norm [Grimes – Crew Chief] and the guys have given me such a great car this year. It has just been so consistent, and fast.”

    While the points battles may be over, the team still hopes for one more win in Pomona. Jim is no stranger to the national event winner’s circle, but Annie has yet to score a national event win, despite two trips to the finals this year.

    “We would really love to finish the year with another win,” stated Jim. “We really want to get Annie in a national event winner’s circle, and the winter just seems to go better when you close the year with a win.”

    To find out more about YNot Racing’s promotional partners, visit the websites below:

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    The team would also like to thank the continued support of J&A Services and Advanced Oilfield Services.

    Contact: Pro Race Communications 979.415.4959
    Attached photo courtesy of James Drew Photography & YNot Racing

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