RICHFIELD, OH 10/13/03 After a month that everyone on his team would like to forget, Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk and the Summit Racing Pro Stock team had a successful outing with their new Jerry Bickel-built 2004 Pontiac Grand Am at the O'Reilly Fall ...
RICHFIELD, OH 10/13/03 After a month that everyone on his team would like to forget, Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk and the Summit Racing Pro Stock team had a successful outing with their new Jerry Bickel-built 2004 Pontiac Grand Am at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals. While some "new car blues" impacted the team's performance, Pawuk was more than satisfied with the overall results.
"We smoked a rearend out of the car in the first session," he reported, "but after that things went fairly well. The transmission tunnel was a little close, and in the third session it knocked a couple of springs off the transmission so it couldn't shift. After we got that straightened out we were okay.
"I'm not going to say that we're about to be world-beaters, but I will say that after only five runs in the car I feel very comfortable. I think this car has tremendous potential, and it already 'feels' better than our old one."
The '04 Grand Am replaces a 2003 model that was also built by Jerry Bickel. "Jerry's assembled very reliable cars for us," Pawuk added. "He's thorough and careful, and really cares about driver safety, which is obviously very important to us."
Pawuk, finally back among the qualifiers, also returned to the stellar driving that has highlighted his season. Admittedly never one of the quickest drivers when it comes to Reaction Times, Pawuk has definitely turned things around this year. The introduction of new lights in the Christmas Tree at the beginning of the year has helped make him one of the quicker drivers in the class. Earlier in the season he out-drove his first round opponents in six straight races, and now has another string of two straight going after a first round R.T. of .001 against new POWERade Champion Greg Anderson.
"Yeah, I got Greg on the line, but he got to the other end first, and that's what counts," Pawuk said. "I think Greg's done an exceptional job this year, and certainly deserved the championship. He drove a few races for us a few years ago, and you could see even then that, given the right set of circumstances, he'd be tough to handle, and that's what's happened.
"Regardless, I'm proud of the fact that he drove a Summit Racing Pontiac when he earned membership in the Speed Pro 200 Mile Per Hour Club. We've definitely got some ties between us, so how come he didn't go easy on me yesterday? Never mind, I know the answer to that and frankly, I wouldn't have expected anything less than his best. I just hope we can return the 'favor' in Las Vegas or Pomona!"
Next: NHRA AC Delco Nationals, Las Vegas, Nevada October 24-26