Dallas: Kenny Koretsky Motorsports qualifying

ENNIS, TEXAS - - Kenny Koretsky, of Richboro, Penn., qualified his Pro Stock Firebird in the 12th position for the NHRA Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts. Koretsky, who last campaigned full time in 1993, made the field of the...

ENNIS, TEXAS - - Kenny Koretsky, of Richboro, Penn., qualified his Pro Stock Firebird in the 12th position for the NHRA Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts. Koretsky, who last campaigned full time in 1993, made the field of the elite 16 for the first time this season.

Reviewing today's action for the two-car Kenny Koretsky Motorsports, Bucks County Kawasaki Pro Stock team:

As the team was preparing the Kenny Koretsky-driven Firebird for today's first round, they found what may have been the culprit for the lack of power during Friday's second session - - a bad sparkplug.

"Running on only seven cylinders would definitely account for our lower speed yesterday," said engine builder Frank Iaconio. "We have changed the plugs and feel that we should be back to full power in the upcoming session."

The results of the run were not the improvement that Koretsky thought he would see. "We got out of the groove just a tiny bit and I lost a little time. When I corrected, the engine went up on the limiter and I scrubbed off more time. We had hoped for more," Koretsky said of the run that yielded an elapsed time of 7.109 seconds.

Rickie Smith, of King, N.C., in the second Koretsky-owned car, suffered a worst fate - - a broken engine. The pass saw Smith slow to an elapsed time of 8.084 seconds at 116.98 mph. The team changed to a new powerplant and Smith began the final session on the bump.

Smith had additional problems with the second run of the day. "I knew we had a clutch problem as soon as I began to leave the water box. The clutch caused problems throughout the run. It's possible the clutch may have gotten bent when the engine blew in the first session," said Smith, who still turned in a respectable elapsed time of 7.077 seconds at 195.39 mph but wound up 20th.

Just prior to Smith's final attempt, Koretsky shocked the Pro Stock establishment when he cruised down the Texas Motorplex quarter-mile in 7.039 seconds at 195.99 mph, ending the day in the 12th spot. He will meet Richie Stevens, of New Orleans, who qualified his Firebird fifth.

"It's great to finally make a field after the long layoff. The only negative I see is that my teammate Rickie Smith did not qualify. He, along with crew chief Eddie Guarnaccia, Jr., will be overseeing my quest for round wins and the event title. I look forward to meeting Richie Stevens in the opening round and feel it will be a good match up," said a beaming Koretsky.

Final eliminations for all classes begin at 10 a.m. CST tomorrow.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Koretsky , Rickie Smith