Topeka: Whisnant falls to Spitzer

Topeka, Kan. (Sept. 30) - In eliminations today at the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Topeka, Mark Whisnant driver of the RW Performance Chevrolet S-10 met David Spitzer in Round 1.=20 Spitzer would be the eventual winner of...

Topeka, Kan. (Sept. 30) - In eliminations today at the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Topeka, Mark Whisnant driver of the RW Performance Chevrolet S-10 met David Spitzer in Round 1.=20

Spitzer would be the eventual winner of one of the closest side by side races of the day. Spitzer would run a 7.635 / 175.32 mph to Whisnant's 7.649 / 175.75 mph.=20

"I was battling the tires as soon as I let the clutch out," said Whisnant. "The truck when straight toward the center line. Then it chattered the tires at about 330 ft. and that caused me to short shift. I couldn't catch him after that.

"I feel like I could have run good enough to beat him if I had lane choice. Right now we need to start qualifying better so we can have lane choice on raceday. This class is so tight that being able to pick your lane is very critical to winning one of these races.

"We are going back to Atlanta and do some testing before heading to Memphis. We have a new Kurt (Johnson) motor that we want to try. The preliminary dyno numbers look very encouraging. We want to see what it can do on the track. As competitive as this class is, it would be a mistake to try and qualify with an untested piece. Every round of qualifying counts and no one can afford to throw away a pass.=20

"Looking toward Memphis next week, I would like to see us qualify in the top half in the first or second round of qualifying. That would give us lane choice and the last two qualifying sessions to work on our raceday set-up or possibly try the new Kurt motor.

"I am encouraged by the fact that we made some headway in the points this weekend. We did not move in to the top 10 like I would have hope we would, but we are a lot closer to that goal. We are going to take it one race at a time, and hopefully set ourselves up to break into the top 10 in Dallas or Pomona."

The next stop on the NHRA Pro Stock Truck schedule is the 13th Annual AutoZone Nationals presented by Pennzoil in Memphis, Tenn. Oct. 5 -8.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Whisnant