Baytown: Mark Whisnant preview

RW Performance Pro Stock Chevy Cavalier Mark Whisnant -- Driver Reid Whisnant -- Owner Whisnant goes back to Plan A for Houston. BAYTOWN, Texas -- Mark Whisnant, driver of the RW Performance Pro Stock Chevrolet Cavalier, has a soft spot in his...

RW Performance Pro Stock Chevy Cavalier
Mark Whisnant -- Driver
Reid Whisnant -- Owner

Whisnant goes back to Plan A for Houston.

BAYTOWN, Texas -- Mark Whisnant, driver of the RW Performance Pro Stock Chevrolet Cavalier, has a soft spot in his heart when it comes racing in Houston, Texas.

In 1998, Houston Raceway Park was the sight of Whisnant's first career victory. It was in a Super Gas car at the Pennzoil Nationals that he made his first appearance in the winner's circle. Whisnant hopes that by the close of the 15th Annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals that he will be able to make his second appearance in the Raceway Park winner's circle.

"I like Houston," said Whisnant of Stockbridge, Ga., "my first win came here in Houston in '98, so I sort of have a soft spot for this track.

"Historically Houston has been a great racetrack for Pro Stock cars. The sea-level altitude and cool temperatures, has made this a racetrack where the record books can fall.

"This year the weather in Baytown is supposed to be warmer than usual. The conditions this weekend should be comparable to what we saw in Gainesville, which should work in our favor.

"Every Pro Stock team out there knows that there is a good chance they will DNQ at least once during the season. Las Vegas was ours. In Las Vegas, we made bad runs in good situations. We could not get the car off the starting line properly, and it cost us. Now that we have our DNQ for the year out of the way, we need to get past it, and get back to racing like we know how.

"Gainesville was our first race, and we ran well there. Our plan for Houston is to forget about Las Vegas and go back to plan A. We will put the car back to the way we ran it in Gainesville, but with a couple changes.

"Right now, our car is fast as hell on the top end. We know that if we can get this Cavalier to run well down low, we are going to be hard to beat. We have had two races to work on how the car leaves the starting line, and I think we are beginning to get a good grasp of how the car reacts and moves when it leaves. The data we have gathered in the last two races, I believe, will help us makes changes which will improve our times here in Houston. If we can make this car run better from the starting line to half-track, we should be able to qualify well here. Then on Sunday, we will just take it round by round.

"My first win came here in Houston, so I have a soft spot for this track. I like it here, and I feel like this might be the racetrack where I get me first Pro Stock victory."

Qualifying at the 15th Annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals begins on Friday April 12, and continues on Saturday April 13. Eliminations are set to start at 11:00 AM CST on Sunday April 14.

15th Annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals
TV Schedule

Qualifying Highlights
Saturday April 13 7:30 -- 10:00 PM EST (ESPN2)

Eliminations Coverage
Sunday April 14 8:00 -- 10:00 PM EST (ESPN2)

Repeat Eliminations
Tuesday April 16 2:30 -- 4:30 PM EST (EPSN2)

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Whisnant