Atlanta: Mark Whisnant Saturday summary

RW Performance Pro Stock Chevy Cavalier Mark Whisnant -- driver Reid Whisnant -- owner Whisnant to race in Atlanta. COMMERCE, Ga. -- Today after a heroic last ditch effort by the RW Performance Race Team, Mark Whisnant qualified is Pro Stock...

RW Performance Pro Stock Chevy Cavalier
Mark Whisnant -- driver
Reid Whisnant -- owner

Whisnant to race in Atlanta.

COMMERCE, Ga. -- Today after a heroic last ditch effort by the RW Performance Race Team, Mark Whisnant qualified is Pro Stock Chevrolet Cavalier for the 22nd Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga.

In the third qualifying session, Whisnant ran 6.866 / 200.65 mph to place his Cavalier in the sixth position on Sunday's eliminations ladder. When eliminations get underway Sunday morning, Whisnant will meet Kurt Johnson in Round 1.

Struggling for the last four races with a poor handling racecar, the RW Performance team was in a position where they had to either throw everything they had at their racecar or sit out their hometown race. It was the eleventh-hour tuning decisions by the crew that made the difference for the young team from Stockbridge, Ga.

"That was too close," said Whisnant, "but were are in, and that is what counts. Our chances of making the race didn't look very good earlier today, but this RW Performance team came through when it counted and gave me a great racecar to drive.

"All weekend long we have been having trouble getting the car past half track. It would get to that point and the car would break loose. We felt like we were over powering the racetrack. So, we backed it down, and made a chassis change.

"Our goal was to just get the car to the finish line. We felt if we could do that we would be moving in the right direction. We knew the changes we made would make an improvement, but we never thought it would be that big.

"The car left pretty well. Once I got to half-track, the car took off and I knew I had it made. I thought, by the feel of the car, that it was a good run; maybe even in the show. I didn't know for sure I was in until my brother Terry came on the radio and told me what I ran.

"I am very excited to be racing tomorrow for a couple reasons.

"We have really struggled for the last four races. My team has gone the extra mile and worked overtime trying to bring the performance of this Cavalier back up to where we were in Gainesville. It has been very frustrating for us to work so hard without seeing any results. Making this race is a real moral booster for them, as well as for me.

"Of course, making your home race is always pretty exciting. We have our whole family here this weekend, including Grandma. Making the race here in front of all of them is pretty cool. I just hope I can make them as proud tomorrow.

Eliminations at the 22nd Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals begin at 11:00 AM EST on Sunday May 5.

-rwpr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Mark Whisnant