Pawuk Rides "Loaner" Cobalt Into Eliminations In Glitter Gulch RICHFIELD, OH 4/11/06 With the help of a friend, Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk may have turned his season around at the NHRA Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas this past weekend. After...
Pawuk Rides "Loaner" Cobalt Into Eliminations In Glitter Gulch
RICHFIELD, OH 4/11/06 With the help of a friend, Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk may have turned his season around at the NHRA Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas this past weekend. After having sold his Pontiac GTO during the Houston race a little more than a week ago, Pawuk turned to fellow Ohio racer Ron Krisher, who graciously loaned him his back-up Chevrolet Cobalt to use until Pawuk's new car is ready. That car, plus another high-horsepower engine out of Krisher's shop, was all Pawuk's team needed to not only qualify for the race, but to advance to the second round of eliminations.
After opening the season with a strong semifinal round finish at the Winternationals Pawuk went three straight races without qualifying, but the new Cobalt seems to have cured that problem. "I can't thank Ron and the folks from Valvoline enough for their generosity," Pawuk said from his offices at Empaco Equipment Corporation. "They've allowed us to retain the Valvoline livery on the car, at least for the present, and I hope they're pleased with the job we did in Las Vegas.
"This was truly one of those team efforts you hear so much about," he added. "Everyone really pitched in to get this handled. Our guys, including crew chief Marcus Bowen, test driver/mechanic Craig Hankinson and mechanic Robert Morrow drove more than half way across the country and back in between Houston and Vegas to pick up the car and then install all of our running gear, and I couldn't be prouder of how hard they worked. We were also lucky in that our friend Pat Donaghue made it out for the race, and that extra set of hands really helped.
"This is my 21st year in Pro Stock, but I'll admit that before our first qualifying run on Friday I don't think I've ever been more nervous, and all of the guys noticed it. I knew there was a lot riding on this effort. Naturally, we made a lousy run on that first one, and I had to shut down, but after that the car worked perfectly -- until I was a little late in the second round and lost on a holeshot.
"Naturally, I'm a little disappointed in the outcome, but overall I'm excited about our possibilities. Our sponsors have really been supportive about our temporary switch to the Chevy Cobalt, so now we've got enough time to get just the 'right' Pontiac GTO to replace it. That's our next project.
"We've got a couple of weeks before the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, so if we can manage it we're going to get in some additional testing time just to completely familiarize ourselves with this car. Based on the outcome in Las Vegas, I think we're headed in the right direction -- finally!"