barrister's ms. mika

Barrister's Ms. Mika

Barrister's Ms. Mika
Not For Sale
Barrister's Ms. Mika is WELL cared for by the formidable Mr. Keith Raftery from Louisiana. Mr. Raftery is the top Sportsman of the Year as well as Top Dragster of the Year, and rightfully so. Read up on this guy. It's pretty impressive!!! Read on.......
The Top Dragster and Top Sportsman categories have progressively - and rightfully - received more and more of the limelight, and the South Central Division's Keith Raftery did his part to generate even more interest in the thrilling categories when he roped in both of the championship titles in his region in 2010. Last year, racers in the two categories were also included in the Allstars bonus event, and Raftery went ahead and won the Top Sportsman title there, too.

He's been at it a long time, but it was a rather remarkable season for the Lake Charles, La., racer.

"I achieved everything I set out for," said Raftery. "I've had an outstanding year, and I'm excited about it, but I'm looking forward to the new year now."

Raftery may be done celebrating, but he doesn't take his pair of championships for granted. He earned the Top Sportsman title for the third consecutive season and won three times in the category to get it done, including scoring back-to-back victories in Dallas and Houston. The achievement was tremendously rewarding, but the Top Dragster  title required a bit more sweat."It was stressful," said Raftery, who needed to win two rounds at the Las Vegas divisional to clinch the Division 4 Top Dragster championship. "Even getting there was stressful. My dad couldn't ride in the motorhome with us because he was having some medical issues, so he had to fly, and I rode with a friend of ours, Mike Kile.

"I was fortunate enough to be able to put my dragster in his trailer, but before we left, the dragster wasn't going in, and they were having to take racks off their trailer and move Mike's dragster around. At one point, I felt like it was just too much work. It seemed like it took three or four hours to make it fit in his trailer, and I almost didn't want to go, but I'm glad I did. And Mike was a really, really big help."

The reality of the down-to-the-wire situation sank in when they arrived at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the final Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event of the year.Raftery found his motivation and took his Top Dragster all the way to the final round in Las Vegas to finish off the season on a high note.In the early days, there wasn't quite so much weight on the outcome of racing for Raftery, and it seemed that from the beginning he was destined to be a standout in competition. Raftery, now 41, began racing at the age of 14 and won the track championship at the track at Chennault Airbase in Lake Charles that year. He continued on the path until 2003, when he and his father Roy purchased a '00 Dodge Pro Stock Truck from longtime racers Allan and Todd Patterson with the intent to continue bracket racing. They changed course, though, when a friend told them that the NHRA had developed a class called Top Sportsman in which they would fit nicely, and that the class would be competing for the first time in a meet at Baytown.

The suggestion got their attention, and they entered their first Division 4 Lucas Oil Series event.

"We won that meet, and we've been hooked ever since," said Raftery. Since then, he has regularly raced a full schedule, continued to pick up wins in his Top Sportsman entries, and began to also compete in Top Dragster in 2007 with fairly quick success; in only his second event in the rail, at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, La., Raftery went to the final round.It's a darn good thing that Raftery doesn't mind all eyes being on him because next season is setting up to be a big one. In addition to defending two championships in the division, he is also planning to debut a new Top Sportsman entry, a car that has been eagerly anticipated by factory hot rod lovers.

"It's going to be the first 2011 Camaro, a Jerry Bickel body," said Raftery. "It's the car they're working on for Pro Stock, so it will be built to Pro Stock specs, except my car will be a little longer. I'm really excited to be getting the first one, and I was really wanting to debut it at Baytown [the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston], but it won't be ready that soon. They're saying by mid-year."

Raftery currently pilots an eye-catching GTO in Top Sportsman with an awesome paint scheme done by Greg Ozubko of GOS Motorsport Graphics, and the scheme for the new car has already been designed. Raftery, a big fan of Ozubko, said that the new look is really something and will definitely not disappoint. All of that excitement just isn't enough for the double title defender, though; Raftery has also recently purchased another car from the Pattersons, a '97 F-Body Camaro that he will run in Stock Eliminator at select events this coming season.

"It'll be new to me, but if I get beat, I'm okay with that," said Raftery. "You can't win if you don't try, and I'm looking forward to trying something new. I'd like to win in some other classes down the road: Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp. If I took the nitrous off, I could run Super Comp with my little Undercover dragster, and I might play with that, but there is no pressure. Do I want to run Pro Mod? If the right deal came along, I wouldn't mind doing something like that. But I would like to win in as many different categories as I can before my career is through.

"I really just want to be remembered for something."

Reviewing what he has already achieved and looking at his plans for the near future, it would be safe to say that Raftery is well on his way to accomplishing that goal.......