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If not for a few up-in-smoke runs at the most inopportune
times, Jim Whiteley might be a two-time Top Alcohol Dragster
world champion by now. Whiteley, who has finished in the top fiv
in the NHRA national standings for four straight years, has been not
just quick but consistently quick since the day tuning mastermind Norm
Grimes, the hands-down best blown-alcohol crew chief of the past 15 years,
joined his YNot Racing team.
Whiteley, from Grand Junction, Colorado, is the only driver in either alcohol category
other than Bill Reichert, who won five consecutive Top Alcohol Dragster championships
before finally being dethroned last year, and Frank Manzo, who has won the last five titles in
Top Alcohol Funny Car, to finish in the top five in the national standings in each of the past four
years. He was fourth in 2007, second to Reichert in 2008 and 2009, and third last year.