Sonoma: Whisnant preview

Whisnant heads to Sears Point. SONOMA, Calif. -- After his performance last weekend in Seattle, you would think that Mark Whisnant, driver of the RW Performance Pro Stock Chevrolet Cavalier, would arrive in Sonoma, Calif. for the running of ...

Whisnant heads to Sears Point.

SONOMA, Calif. -- After his performance last weekend in Seattle, you would think that Mark Whisnant, driver of the RW Performance Pro Stock Chevrolet Cavalier, would arrive in Sonoma, Calif. for the running of the 15th Annual Fram-Autolite Nationals sure about this chances of qualifying at this weekends event. But Whisnant is approaching this event with caution and wariness.

Last weekend in Seattle, Whisnant qualified Number 1, set a new track ET record, and advanced all the way to the final round before falling to Jeg Coughlin Jr. His performance in Seattle was excellent, and by most peoples standards he has a right to be sure and confident about qualifying and racing at Sears Point this weekend. However, Whisnant would be the first to disagree.

"It is a reality and testament to how competitive this Pro Stock class is when you can win a race and DNQ at the next event," said Whisnant. "We have seen it happen too many times this year. A driver does well, even wins an event, then goes on to DNQ at the next race. I would be stupid to think that it could not happen to me too.

"This weekend is not going to be easy for the RW Performance team. We have a couple things working against us already.

"First, we have never raced at Sears Point. I have been here with my Dad (Reid Whisnant) before, but have never driven this particular racetrack, so I don't know what to expect.

"Second, they have completely redone the Sears Point raceway. The facilities are great, and the drag strip is brand new. My crew has been here before, but with the new surface it will be completely different form what they are used too. But then again, no one will know what we have until we get there and cars start going down the track.

"The third challenge this will weekend will be the weather. It is very hard to predict the weather here. I am told you can have fog in the morning, and when it burns off it can get hot. In the past, they have raced in heat well over the 100's. That will make tuning the car different every round.

"Our game plan for this weekend is the same game plan we have had all year; that is to take it one qualifying session and round at a time. Since this is a new racetrack, and we have never been here before, we will have to wait and see what we have Friday morning. Make the best pass we can in the first session, and then go from there.

"It is the same plan we have had all season. It has worked for us before, and hopefully to will work out for us this weekend in Sears Point."

Qualifying at the 15th Annual Fram-Autolite Nationals will begin on Friday Aug. 2, and continue on Saturday Aug. 3. Eliminations will take place on Sunday Aug. 4 at 11:00 AM PST.

-wr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Whisnant