Commerce: Mark Pawuk final summary

Despite DNQ Pawuk Confident After Post-Race Testing in Atlanta RICHFIELD, OH 5/18/04 "I spent Sunday afternoon exactly where I didn't want to be," admitted Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk after a day-long stint as a color commentator during the Summit...

Despite DNQ Pawuk Confident After Post-Race Testing in Atlanta

RICHFIELD, OH 5/18/04 "I spent Sunday afternoon exactly where I didn't want to be," admitted Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk after a day-long stint as a color commentator during the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals. "I actually like doing the commentary, but I'd much rather be behind the wheel," he said after another disappointing DNQ.

"This was unquestionably an important race for us," he added from his offices at Empaco Equipment Corporation in Richfield on Tuesday morning. "We were confident going in, but obviously, things didn't work out the way we'd planned.

"That's the last of my negative comments, because even though we didn't make the show, we learned some important lessons both on Sunday and then again in testing on Monday.

"We had a discussion with another member of the Summit Racing team on Sunday, and he basically agreed with me on a number of chassis changes that I thought we ought to make.

"We were at the far end of an acceptable setup with our race engine, so basically, we've backed things up a bit and are, to some extent, starting over. Regardless of how you want to look at this, it's working, and that's what counts right now. The proof came on Monday, when it was obviously too late to count for this race, but may be in time to help for the Route 66 Nationals in Chicago this coming weekend."

While Pawuk was understandably reluctant to go into a lot of details, suffice it to say that significant changes were made to his Pontiac Grand Am's chassis and shock absorber setup, with the results being immediate and very positive.

"We did one more thing which was every bit as important as the suspension change," he said. "Up until Monday we'd been doing all of our testing with our Number 2 Race engine, which is a very reliable powerplant. But, as good as that engine is, it has different characteristics than our Number 1 Race engine, with less torque when we leave the starting line, and I think that difference in power output has been affecting our testing results. Again, the proof that we're going in the right direction came on Monday in testing and hopefully, that will carry over to this coming weekend."

During the Monday test session the Summit Racing Pontiac consistently notched elapsed times that were two to three hundredths of a second quicker than the best that other teams were able to produce. It's also important to note that the session included some of the top performers in Pro Stock this season, so it's just possible that Pawuk's team has finally turned the corner, with good things ahead.

We'll find out for sure this coming weekend in Chicago.

Next: Route 66 Nationals, Joliet (Chicago), Illinois May 21-23

-pr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Pawuk