Kenny Koretsky returns to competition, qualifies 10th. BRAINERD, Minn. -- Returning to competition for the first time since the NHRA Chicagoland Dodge Dealers Nationals in Chicago (Joliet, Ill.) in June, Kenny Koretsky qualified 10th for the...
Kenny Koretsky returns to competition, qualifies 10th.
BRAINERD, Minn. -- Returning to competition for the first time since the NHRA Chicagoland Dodge Dealers Nationals in Chicago (Joliet, Ill.) in June, Kenny Koretsky qualified 10th for the Pro Stock field for the 21st annual NHRA Rugged Liner Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR), in the picturesque lake country of central Minnesota.
Running for the first time this season without teammate Richie "the Kid" Stevens, from New Orleans, who left the team to attend to the family business after health problems caused his father to take a leave of absence, Koretsky has once again taken over the primary driving duties of the KPK Motorsports Elite Trailer Sales/Snap-on Tools Pro Stock Chevrolet Cavalier.
Although both Pro Stock car and Pro Stock motorcycle got both of their sessions in on the opening day of qualifying, a lengthy rain delay on Friday caused the cancellation of one of two scheduled Top Fuel and Funny Car qualifying sessions at BIR. Saturday's weather was less than Brainerd Chamber of Commerce picture perfect. The final day of qualifying started out under dismal conditions -- cool temperatures made cooler by the 30-plus mph winds and rain laden clouds -- but the weather improved as the day progressed.
Koretsky and crew chief Eddie Guarnaccia, Jr., spent most of the weekend adjusting the Cavalier to track conditions. Trying to first get a data base in the opening session on Friday, Koretsky shut the car off and finished the session well out of the field. Rebounding in the second session, Koretsky jumped into the 16th spot.
Saturday's first session saw tire problems cause the Richboro, Pa., driver to fall to 24th position, but Koretsky saved the best for last. In the final qualifying session, Team Koretsky ripped off a pass of 6.902 seconds at 199.37 mph, good for the 10th position on the Pro Stock qualifying grid.
The entire 16-car Pro Stock field finished .022 seconds or better than the elapsed time (E.T.) track record entering this event. In fact, 21 cars bettered the previous track E.T. record of 6.932 set by Warren Johnson, from Sugar Hill, Ga., in August of 2001. Koretsky was one of those drivers that bettered the track record. The best of the 21 was Ron Krisher, from Warren, Ohio, who claimed the #1 spot with a pass of 6.878 seconds.
The previous speed record was also held by Johnson at 198.96 mph and 14 drivers, once again including Koretsky, bettered the previous record. Krisher reestablished the record at 200.32 mph.
Koretsky had these thoughts and comments regarding his return to competition and qualifying.
"We were more than pleased with our return to NHRA competition," said Koretsky after his final pass. "I feel that Eddie (Guarnaccia) has our program headed in the right direction. It seems that we always wait 'til the final qualifying session at Brainerd to get into the field. That's hard on the nerves.
"A special thanks to Elite Trailer Sales, who are building our team a new trailer, for their support this weekend. Thanks also go out to Snap-on Tools and their dealers, Bucks County Kawasaki and our newest marketing partner Carolina Drilling."
In the opening round of eliminations, Koretsky will face Warren Johnson in the opening round of eliminations tomorrow. Johnson qualified seventh with a run of 6.901 seconds at 200.29 mph. Only .001 seconds separate Koretsky's and Johnson's E.T.