RICHFIELD, OH 4/19/04 Despite turning in his best performances of the still-young season, Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk failed to qualify for this past weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, missing the show by a scant .73 mph.
RICHFIELD, OH 4/19/04 Despite turning in his best performances of the still-young season, Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk failed to qualify for this past weekend's O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, missing the show by a scant .73 mph. Ironically, in a sport in which elapsed times mean everything, his car's speed made all the difference.
When two cars record identical elapsed times during qualifying, the nod goes to the driver with the faster speed, and that's exactly what happened in Houston when Mark Whisnant's Chevrolet notched a speed of 203.92 mph to Pawuk's 203.19 after both drivers had recorded matching 6.778 second elapsed times.
The odds of this happening are fairly steep, but for Pawuk they're not steep enough. The same thing happened at the season-opening K&N Filters Winternationals, where Pawuk's Summit Racing Pontiac was again relegated the 17th or first alternate's position.
"There's really nothing I can say about what happened," Pawuk said from his office at Empaco Equipment Corporation in Richfield. "I'm extremely disappointed with what happened, and despite that 6.778, I don't think we made a good run all weekend.
"Right now Terry Adams is driving the car in testing in Houston, and after that Marcus Bowen, Terry and the rest of the guys are heading directly to Bristol, Tennessee, for another two days of running. If things don't improve the car will go to Jerry Bickel's shop in St. Louis where we'll make some major changes to the chassis. After that we'll have two more days of testing in Atlanta while our Number 1 race motor is being refurbished here in our Richfield shop.
"Competing at this level takes a lot of money and dedication," he added. "We've got the desire, and the people who can get it done. Now we've just got to get every aspect of our operation headed in the right direction, and that's the winners circle."
Next: Testing as outlined above followed by the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol (4/30-5/2) and then the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals presented by Pontiac in Atlanta 5/13/-5/16)