Pawuk scores personal bests in Houston: Glidden resigns, Bowen officially named crew chief. RICHFIELD, OH 4/14/03 "The last couple of weeks have been pretty strange," admitted Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk following the NHRA POWERade series national...
Pawuk scores personal bests in Houston: Glidden resigns, Bowen officially named crew chief.
RICHFIELD, OH 4/14/03 "The last couple of weeks have been pretty strange," admitted Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk following the NHRA POWERade series national event at Houston Raceway Park over the weekend. Pawuk's comment has to be considered an understatement, considering that just one week ago he suffered his worst outing of the still-young season, failing to qualify for the Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, and then coming up with personal bests in Houston.
"I think we were all under a lot of pressure in Las Vegas," Pawuk continued, "and I'm obviously disappointed that we weren't racing on Sunday at our sponsor's race. That was a big blow for us, because it also knocked us out of the Top 10."
Following the race 10-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Bob Glidden formally ended his affiliation with the team, citing, among other reasons, his unwillingness to devote the time necessary in today's high pressure world of Pro Stock racing. "I want to thank Bob for everything he did for us during the early portion of the season," Pawuk said. "His experience was invaluable, and I sincerely appreciate the guidance he provided our guys.
"However, even though Bob is gone I want to emphasize that I have complete faith in the decision-making ability of Marcus Bowen, who had been making all of the tuning calls with Bob. If anyone had any doubts about Marcus's skills I think he silenced them with how we ran in Houston."
Pawuk is referring to the performance of his Summit Racing/Matco Tools Pontiac Grand Am during qualifying, when it sped to career best numbers during the first qualifying session of 6.765 seconds at 203.80 mph. During the second session the car ran even quicker, stopping the timers in 6.753 seconds, an elapsed time that was good enough for the ninth spot on the list.
"As excited as I was by how we ran on Friday," Pawuk said, "I was actually more impressed with the 6.779 we ran on Saturday morning, when the conditions weren't nearly as good. That showed us that we can run hard on race day. The trouble is, if we're going to perform well on Sundays, I've got to do a heck of a lot better job than I did in Texas."
Alas, after a great qualifying run, Pawuk was admittedly late in his first round race against Scott Geoffrion, and lost despite running a markedly better elapsed time. "I'm the only one you can blame," he admitted, "'cause it was my foot that didn't come off the clutch pedal when it should have!"
Despite the first round loss, it's obvious that the Summit Racing/Matco Tools/Pennzoil/Mr. Heater Pontiac is headed in the right direction. "It's easy to get enthusiastic when we're running like this," Pawuk said. "I'm already looking forward to Bristol in a couple of weeks."
Next: NHRA Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, TN April 25-27