Rockingham: Cheek debuts 2000 Cougar

ROCKINGHAM, NC - Floyd Cheek had admittedly had a less than spectacular season. When the opportunity to present itself to debut a new car at mid-season, he didn't flinch at the notion. With that in mind, he chose to bring out a sleek new...

ROCKINGHAM, NC - Floyd Cheek had admittedly had a less than spectacular season. When the opportunity to present itself to debut a new car at mid-season, he didn't flinch at the notion. With that in mind, he chose to bring out a sleek new Mercury Cougar at this weekend's IHRA CARQUEST Autumn Nationals in Rockingham, NC.

The first round of qualifying produced average results, but according to Cheek that was in the game plan.

"We were very soft on the clutch on that run," explained Cheek, who drives on one the entries on the two-car Charlie Hunt team. "We are running a little different engine combination than we are accustomed to. It wasn't a very fast run, but it was certainly respectable."

The maiden voyage on the Jerry Haas-built machine netted a 6.825/207.11. He ended up as the 14th quickest after Thursday's lone session.

After running Probes for the last decade, Cheek feels that the Cougar will offer some advantages.

"From what we've seen, it should offer a clear advantage," explained Cheek. "I think it should give us an aerodynamic advantage over the rest of the Fords at least for the rest of the season. As far as matching up with a Probe, there's not much of a difference when you look at it with the naked eye. It's an inch narrower and definitely lower on the roofline."

Cheek continued, "I know when we went to pick it up I compared it to the Mustang. It was an inch and a half shorter. They basically looked about the same width."

Right now, qualifying is under a rain delay, so it will be later in the day before Cheek gets another shot at the Rockingham Dragway racing surface.

Qualifying for the CARQUEST Autumn Nationals concludes today with final eliminations scheduled for Saturday.

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Series Drag
Drivers Jerry Haas