Las Vegas II: Mark Pawuk eliminations summary

LAS VEGAS, NV 10/27/03 "Right now we're trying to accomplish two things," Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk said following the AC Delco Nationals in Las Vegas. "First, we're still trying to be competitive, but for all intents and purposes, our season is over.

LAS VEGAS, NV 10/27/03 "Right now we're trying to accomplish two things," Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk said following the AC Delco Nationals in Las Vegas. "First, we're still trying to be competitive, but for all intents and purposes, our season is over. The championship's been decided, but we would still like to perform up to our capabilities at the Finals. And second, now's the time when we need to start getting ready for 2004. That's exactly why we tried to run the combination we did this weekend in Las Vegas.

"LVMS is a 'high altitude' track, so we made some pretty radical adjustments to our Summit Racing Pontiac, and then tried a completely different engine combination. The results weren't what we were looking for, but we learned some valuable lessons that we're convinced are going to help us during the Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas next April.

"That may seem like a long way off, but it really isn't. Most of the pre-season testing the teams do is at low altitude facilities, so we're ahead of the curve when it comes to the high altitude tracks.

"As far as this weekend goes, we had incredible tire shake on two of our four runs, and even though we had to abort those passes, we learned something from each run. I think we've got a better handle on what this new car 'wants' than we did before, and that's good. Remember, this is only the second time we've had this car out, and it's already showing a tremendous amount of promise.

"I thought we made a pretty good 'move' in the fourth session, and even though we missed the cut, I think we would have made it had we not lost those two runs. But, as I said, we learned something even from those, so despite our not making the show, I'm considering this weekend a positive for the Summit Racing Pontiac team.

"We left the rig out West until the Finals, but we've got plenty to do with our engines back in Ohio. We damaged a powerplant on the dyno last week, one that had shown a lot of promise. We're going to get that one back together, and if it shows promise on the dyno we'll ship it to Pomona and run it in the Finals.

"We've made some major changes in our engine shop within the last couple of weeks, and there's more to come. We're going to do more pre-season than we've ever done before, because we've got the people on board who can help with that while I concentrate on the business, and on making sure the team has everything they need to make us a Top 10 car in 2004. That's our goal."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Pawuk