Gainesville: Mark Whisnant preview

Whisnant hopes to break his slump in Gainesville. GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It is a little known fact that from time to time racers are visited by gremlins. These gremlins (a.k.a.: hidden mechanical problems) have been known to leave the best racing...

Whisnant hopes to break his slump in Gainesville.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It is a little known fact that from time to time racers are visited by gremlins. These gremlins (a.k.a.: hidden mechanical problems) have been known to leave the best racing minds in the business scratching their heads in frustration. Such is the case with Mark Whisnant and his RW Performance/ Snap-On Tools race team.

Since the beginning of the season, the RW Performance team has not performed on the same level as they did last year. Not qualifying at the first two events has left Team RW frustrated and confused.

Crew Chief Gary Pearman has used the three weeks between the last race in Phoenix, and this weekend 34th annual Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. to track down and fix the problem.

"We have known that we had a problem since Pomona," said Whisnant, driver of the RW Performance / Snap-On Tools machine, "but we could not put our finger on exactly what it was. After running so well all last season, it is very frustrating for the crew and me to have such a poor start this year.

"We went through this same problem when we raced Pro Stock Truck. The last time something like this happened all of a sudden the truck was down on power without a real explanation why. With no clear reason for our problem, it took a while for us to track down our gremlin. In the process we missed races and slipped in the points. What we learned from that experience was that the only way to cure the problem is to get to work; and that is just what we did.

"Gary, Markus and the rest of the crew have worked very hard in the last three weeks. They went through the car with a fine toothed comb. They replaced or rebuilt practically everything on this Cavalier. The motor went back Reher/Morrison where they did the same. Then we went testing.

"We tested in Bradenton, Fla. before coming to Gainesville. We ran very good numbers there. The best numbers we have had since the winter test in Houston. Our performance in testing is encouraging. It looks like we may have fixed the problem, but I will not pronounce it cured until we get on the track in Gainesville.

"The Mac Tools Gatornationals is one of my favorite races. This race last year was our first event in a Pro Stock Car, and we went all the way to the semis. This year I would like to be able to see the semi's again, and possibly take this RW Performance / Snap-On Tools Chevrolet Cavalier all the way to the winners circle. If we can do that, then I will declare our gremlin officially evicted."

Qualifying at the 34th annual Mac Tools Gatornationals will begin on Friday March 14, and continue on Saturday March 15. Eliminations will get underway at 11:00 AM EST on Sunday March 16.

-rwp-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Whisnant