Controversy Surrounds Pawuk DNQ Timing Equipment Malfunction Impacts Outcome RICHFIELD, OH 5/7/06 After failing to qualify for the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Atlanta, 21-year Pro Stock veteran Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk succinctly ...
Controversy Surrounds Pawuk DNQ
Timing Equipment Malfunction Impacts Outcome
RICHFIELD, OH 5/7/06 After failing to qualify for the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Atlanta, 21-year Pro Stock veteran Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk succinctly expressed his displeasure with the outcome. "Without question," he said, "this was the most frustrating weekend of my career in Pro Stock.
"There have been numerous times when we failed to qualify for eliminations, and it's been extremely rare when we offered any excuses. No matter what a racer might say, behind all of the talk there's one single fact -- his or her car just didn't run quickly enough to qualify. To some extent, that wasn't what happened to us this weekend. We did run quickly enough, but long after the fact, when ours as well as the elapsed times of two other competitors were posted, we were informed that the times would be disallowed because of some sort of electronic malfunction with the timing equipment.
"What's particularly galling about this whole thing is that a fourth competitor's elapsed time from the first session on Friday afternoon -- hours earlier -- was also suddenly disallowed.
"The thing I'm still trying to come to grips with is the explanation that there was a 'lazy' infrared beam in the timing equipment. I'd always been under the impression that the electronic infrared beams were instantaneous. I know that's how it works with all of the autofocus cameras you see these days. It's all immediate, there's no delay, so I still don't see how this could have happened in the first place.
"In all candor, and under these circumstances, I feel that if the NHRA officials were questioning their own equipment, and this wasn't a weather issue, the four of us who 'lost' our runs should have been given another shot at the track. That obviously didn't happen, so there's nothing else to say other than we'll be at Columbus in two weeks for the Pontiac Performance Nationals, where we'll be doing our best to produce a better outcome."
Pawuk's best run of 6.735 seconds would have easily eclipsed the bump spot of 6.754 seconds, but that run was disallowed.
Next: NHRA Pontiac Performance Nationals at National Trail Raceway, Columbus, Ohio May 19-21