COMMERCE, Ga. - - Both Rickie Smith, 46, from King, N.C., driver of the KPK Motorsports Pro Stock Camaro, and car owner Kenny Koretsky, 42, from Richboro, Penn., are looking forward to this weekend's NHRA Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Atlanta ...
COMMERCE, Ga. - - Both Rickie Smith, 46, from King, N.C., driver of the KPK Motorsports Pro Stock Camaro, and car owner Kenny Koretsky, 42, from Richboro, Penn., are looking forward to this weekend's NHRA Advance Auto Parts Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., about 50 miles northwest of Atlanta.
"I didn't think we would be competitive this soon. The chemistry and experience of this team is the heart of what has propelled us to a hot start," said Koretsky. "Team manager and driver Rickie Smith, crew chief Ed Guarnaccia, engine builder Frank Iaconio and I bring not only over 100 years experience to the table but we work well as a team. We feed off the ideas and knowledge of each other. It makes for a potential winning combination and I'm excited."
Adding to Koretsky's thoughts, Smith said, "The key is to have power. Our (Frank) Iaconio-built engine is already proving that it can compete at the top level. There are a lot of teams that have power; but, even with power, you have to get up and down the track. My experience and understanding of these cars is as good as any and better than most. The remainder of the team is just as awesome. Everyone - - Eddie Guarnaccia, Frank Iaconio, Kenny Koretsky and I - - bring something to the table. We've come a long way in just a couple of races."
Smith thinks that even though the team has been unable to test the new track surface at Atlanta Dragway, it will not hinder the performance of the Jerry Bickel-build Camaro.
"The new track surface will make for a different set up for the car. Initially, the cars that tested here will have a slight advantage but all the other will soon catch up. We plan to experiment with a new clutch package which I hope will improve my reaction times and make us more competitive on race day," added Smith.
In addition to the Camaro driven by Smith, KPK Motorsports also fields a second Camaro, with team owner Ken Koretsky handling the driving duties. The second Camaro will not be in competition at the Atlanta event this weekend, as Koretsky continues to build the team into a championship contender and meet with potential sponsors during the race. Koretsky will resume his driving duties at the Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals in Englishtown, NJ (May 18-21).