Las Vegas: Mark Whisnant preview

Whisnant is not taking any chances in Las Vegas. LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- We all know that Las Vegas is a city that was founded on, and famous for, gambling. There is nothing run-of-the-mill or usual about the city of Las Vegas. This western 'city of...

Whisnant is not taking any chances in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- We all know that Las Vegas is a city that was founded on, and famous for, gambling. There is nothing run-of-the-mill or usual about the city of Las Vegas. This western 'city of lights' is equally famous for being extraordinary, as it is for its games of chance. The same can be said for racing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

For Pro Stock racers at this weekends 3rd Annual SummitRacing.com Nationals April 4-7, "The Strip" presents a set of parameters which can be found at no other racetrack on the POWERade Drag Racing Series. The high altitude and dry conditions that are found in the Nevada desert can be a crew chiefs nightmare.

"We have high expectations coming into Las Vegas,'' said Whisnant, driver of the RW Performance Pro Stock Chevrolet Cavalier. " After the showing we made in Gainesville, we have set the bar pretty high for ourselves, but that will not intimidate us.

"If nothing else we learned a lot in Gainesville. We came back and made some changes in the car, sent our motors back to be freshened, and then went testing. From what we saw in testing, the changes we made have help the car, and put us in the direction we want to head going into Las Vegas.

"Las Vegas is an altitude track, but we have never let that intimidate us before. We ran well here with the truck, but the car will be a whole new ball game. It is in these situations where Brad's (crew chief Brad Jeter) input will make a real difference. Brad's been to Vegas before in car and knows what will work, but more importantly, what will not work. I think we can use that to our advantage this weekend.

"We did so well in Gainesville, our first time out, so topping that will be hard. Our goal coming into this race is to qualify better. We would like to be in the top half of the field come raceday.

"It is true, that as tight as this class is, that anyone can win on race day. But this track has a history of becoming a one-lane racetrack the later it gets in the weekend. If we are not in the top half of the field come Sunday, that one-lane track situation could hurt us. We want to avoid that if we can. To do that we will need to be in the top half of the field, and keep lane choice. A tough job, but not impossible. I bet we can do it."

At a racetrack that has left many crew chiefs scratching their heads, Brad Jeter Crew Chief for the RW Performance hopes that elimination of variables combined with a little luck will guide them to the winner's circle Sunday night.

"The problem with Las Vegas is the altitude," said Jeter. "The high altitude robs horsepower from these engines. When the altitude takes horsepower away from the motor, then we have to way to pull it out of somewhere else.

"The key to running good in Vegas is to think things through carefully. Then make the right gear and transmission choices, and the right calls in the clutch. At this altitude, what might be a minor change at sea level, could be a major move at 4,000 feet.

"I'm not 100 percent sure on how to win here, but the easiest way to loose here is to out think yourself. Trying to over think this racetrack will always give you the best odds of loosing here in Vegas."

Qualifying at the 3rd Annual SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev.. will begin on Friday April 5 and continue on Saturday April 6. Final eliminations begin promptly at 11:00 AM PST on Sunday April 7.

-mw-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Brad Jeter , Mark Whisnant