Richmond: Mark Pawuk Saturday summary

Another Career Best For Pawuk Results In Another Disappointment RICHMOND, VA 10/14/06 When it comes to being tested by the fires of drag racing competition it could be said that Pro Stock Pontiac driver Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk of Richfield, OH has...

Another Career Best For Pawuk Results In Another Disappointment

RICHMOND, VA 10/14/06 When it comes to being tested by the fires of drag racing competition it could be said that Pro Stock Pontiac driver Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk of Richfield, OH has been consumed by the flames. After yet another weekend in which his machine posted career best elapsed times in three of four qualifying sessions he again found himself in the 17th position, one spot from making the field. Rubbing considerable salt into the wound is the fact that this is the eighth time this year that Pawuk has ended up 17th in the 16-car field.

When it comes to catching that proverbial break that every racer looks for Pawuk knows from painful experience all season long that Lady Luck has turned her back on him. A perfect example came during the first qualifying session on Friday afternoon when the driver in his lane two runs before his suffered a major engine failure that severely oiled the track from the starting line to the 330-foot clocks. After a lengthy cleanup the following pair hopelessly spun their tires, negating their runs. It was merely a portent of what Pawuk was to himself experience. A longer-then-usual burnout failed to rectify the situation, and on the green Pawuk's car spun the tires so hard that his 60-foot time was a snail-slow 2.193 seconds.

Yet, on Friday evening and again on Saturday Pawuk's Pontiac recorded successive career-best elapsed times, yet when the tire smoke finally cleared he was once again Number 17, one spot from making the show.

"I can't explain it," Pawuk said after qualifying ended, "and I don't have a solution for it either. No matter what we do, things just aren't clicking for us.

"There's no doubt about the fact that I'm facing some very hard decisions here," he added. "I'm seriously debating whether or not we'll compete in the year's last two races. We're obviously not involved in the points race, nor are we competitive right now. Add into that some serious problems I'm having outside of racing and, in all candor, right now I just don't have a lot of enthusiasm.

"I haven't made any firm decisions as to what I'm going to do about the rest of the year, but it's obvious I'll have to work things out within the next few days."

After notching a career-best elapsed time of 6.671 seconds at the Toyo Tires Nationals two weeks ago Pawuk improved on that with 6.663 second effort in Virginia -- .003 seconds short of the bump spot.

"Ya know, everyone's been talking about how many times we've been seventeenth this year," Pawuk said. "After we ran that sixty-three-three one of the other drivers came up to me and said, Well, now we know the bump's going to be sixty-three-zero, and he was right. The thing is, I think we suspected it would be, too."

-credit: mpr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Pawuk