Houston: Whisnant leaves Houston, will concentrate on Vegas

HOUSTON, Texas (March 23) - Mark Whisnant, driver of the PiranaZ Chevrolet S-10 Pro Stock Truck, will not compete at tomorrows 14th Annual O'Reilly Nationals in Houston, Texas. This weekend mechanical problems with the shift light in the first...

HOUSTON, Texas (March 23) - Mark Whisnant, driver of the PiranaZ Chevrolet S-10 Pro Stock Truck, will not compete at tomorrows 14th Annual O'Reilly Nationals in Houston, Texas.

This weekend mechanical problems with the shift light in the first two sessions of qualifying caused Whisnant to loose precious runs. Once he got behind, the young driver from Stockbridge, Ga. was never able to recover.

Whisnant best pass of the weekend came in the fourth session of qualifying when Whisnant piloted his S-10 to a 7.531 / 179.71 mph, which placed him in 18th and out of Sundays show.

"It seems like we have been inventing new ways to screw up," said Whisnant. "To stay competitive in this thing you can't throw away any runs. Every run has to be smooth, clean and as perfect as possible. You can't make a smooth run with a broken shift light.

"We keep saying that if you get one round behind it is almost impossible in this class to catch up. It seems like we are always a round behind, but this weekend we lost two rounds due to mechanical breakage. It is the mechanical things that go wrong. The little things that we have no control over, that is what frustrates me.

"We try and buy the best equipment possible, and do everything we can to trouble shoot for problems. Then something little malfunctions and you want to pull your hair out.

"We threw away two passes this weekend, after that there was no recovering.

"For the last session we made wholesale changes in the truck in an attempt to get in the show. The good news is we went the right way on that pass. The bad news is it was too little too late.

"We are going to stay here and test on Monday. We need to take some steps to get back on track. Hopefully in testing we can keep improving, and maybe have something to work with in Las Vegas.

"They say that sometimes it's better to be lucky that good. Right now I'd give anything for a little luck."

The next race on the Nationals Hot Rod Association's regular tour will be the 2nd Annual SummitRacing.Com Nationals April 5-8 in Las Vegas, Nev.

-Patti Mills

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Whisnant