One step forward, one step back Pawuk power produces positives in Kansas.

TOPEKA, KS 5/27/02 For the first time in the 2002 NHRA POWERade Series season Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk relied solely on a Mark Pawuk Racing Engines-built powerplant for a national event, which produced enough power to put his Summit Racing Pontiac into a very tight Pro Stock field at the NHRA O'Reilly Summer Nationals this past weekend.

"Our guys have really been putting in a lot of long hours trying to get us back to where we were last season," Pawuk said following the event, "and I'm convinced we're getting there. We're going to do some additional testing at the shop this coming week, and we're definitely going to stick with our own stuff this coming weekend in Chicago (for the Lucas Oil Route 66 Nationals).

"Now that our engine program is coming around I'm going to have to really get after it on the (starting) line, 'cause I stunk up the joint in the first round. I was a tiny bit late, but that was enough, 'cause we had a better ET than Mark Osborne, and should have won that round."

Pawuk's superior 6.928 second run lost to Osborne's 6.932 after Osborne's .043 second quicker Reaction Time.

"I am not going to let that happen again," vowed the Ohio businessman following the race. Prior to the race Pawuk's Summit Racing Pontiac got some great television exposure on Cleveland's NBC affiliate, WKYC Channel 3, on their Morning Show, when host John Anderson interviewed Pawuk, and then went for an abbreviated ride during a burnout. "That was a lot of fun for us," Pawuk said of the show, which was broadcast May 14th, "and we're going to try to do something a little more elaborate with John in the future. He loved going for the ride, so maybe we can work something out with him actually making a run in the car, just like we did with Jay Leno of the Tonight Show back in the mid-90s."

Pawuk is already gearing up for the Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing, which takes place at National Trail Raceway outside Columbus, Ohio on the weekend of June 14-16, as well as for SuperSummit X, which takes place at Summit's corporate headquarters in Tallmadge the Saturday before the race.

"We've got a busy schedule coming up," said the Cowboy, "but this is actually my favorite part of the season. We're going to try and get on a roll beginning with Chicago, and carry that momentum right through the balance of the year.

"There are still a lot of races left on the schedule, and lots of points to be earned. Nothing's been decided yet, and with nine different winners in nine races, anything can happen. We're going to play a pivotal role in how this year's championship plays out, and you can take that to the bank ­ when they re-open on Tuesday!"


Session #1 - - 6.909/198.93 #10 (6.944 Bump)
Session #2 - - 6.875/100.79 #12 (6.889 Bump)
Session #3 - - 6.921/198.38 #14 (6.878 Bump)

Round #1 .487 R.T. 6.928/198.00 lost to Mark Osborne .444 R.T. 6.932/198.49

Next: NHRA Lucas Oil Route 66 Nationals, Joliet, Illinois May 31-June 2