RICHFIELD, OH 5/4/03 "It was a long weekend," conceded Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk after the completion of the rain-delayed Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol. "We had high hopes coming in to the race," added Pawuk from his offices at Empaco Equipment...
RICHFIELD, OH 5/4/03 "It was a long weekend," conceded Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk after the completion of the rain-delayed Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol.
"We had high hopes coming in to the race," added Pawuk from his offices at Empaco Equipment Corporation in Richfield. "We tested successfully in Bristol a couple of weeks ago, and we ran pretty decently during qualifying, but every bit of trouble we thought we'd rectified in testing jumped up in our first round race against Kurt (Johnson). We definitely got the jump on him on the starting line, but then our Pontiac Grand Am started shakin' and dancin', and I didn't have any choice. It was either lift, or crash, and I'll always take lifting off the gas when it comes to that. There's always another race, but if we mess up the car it would really set us back, and right now we can't afford that," he said.
"Even though we haven't been doing as well as we'd hoped, our Reaction Times have been good this year, so if we can put that together with some stronger ETs I think we'll be okay. 'Course, with our luck, the car'll run like gangbusters, and I'll be late!
"We've been spending a lot of time and money on our engine development and testing programs," Pawuk went on to say. "We tested in Houston after that race, and then tested again in Bristol and Atlanta, and when we compare our elapsed times with the other guys who are testing we're right in the thick of things. In fact, we're actually more than in the middle of the pack, we're usually up near the top, but somehow, some way, when we roll into the next NHRA POWERade Series national event we encounter problems.
"There's no point in whining about how things are going for us. It's not a matter of putting in longer hours, it's more a matter of catching a bit of racing luck. If we can latch on to that we'll be okay, but until we do, we'll continue to invest that time and money in the hopes of coming up with something that'll boost our performances.
"We've also made some important changes in our engine department, and we feel that the direction we're now headed in will help escalate our performances. If lady luck smiles on us we might be fortunate enough to see improvements by the Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing at Columbus in mid-June. But, for right now our emphasis is on the next race, the Summit Southern Nationals in Atlanta. That one's particularly important to us, for the obvious reason!"