Las Vegas: Mark Pawuk race notes

A busy week for the Cowboy. RICHFIELD, OH 4/10/02 Some call Las Vegas "The city that never sleeps," and at this point Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk would agree. "Last week was definitely one of the longest of the racing season for us," he said from his...

A busy week for the Cowboy.

RICHFIELD, OH 4/10/02 Some call Las Vegas "The city that never sleeps," and at this point Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk would agree. "Last week was definitely one of the longest of the racing season for us," he said from his office at Empaco Equipment Corporation. "We got out there on Wednesday, then did an autograph party at a local Albertson's store with (Top Fuel driver) Cory McClenathan that evening. On Thursday we participated in the pre-race press conference, and then in the afternoon I played in the Summit Racing Charity Golf tournament, which helped raise $5,000 for a local Las Vegas group, and another $5,000 for DRAW (Drag Racing Association of Women). We completed the day by participating in another autograph party, this one at the ESPN Zone at the New York casino.

"When you have all of those activities along with the race, it makes for a very full weekend. I know a lot of people really get to enjoy the whole Las Vegas experience, but when you're running at your sponsor's race, there's very little time to get into the social aspects of the weekend."

Pawuk maintained his unblemished qualify record, a record of which he's justifiably proud, but at the same time, he's getting more than a little frustrated with his other "record" ­ four straight first round losses. "I'm not going to offer any excuses, because we know what our problem is, and it's under the hood of our Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am. We're simply not making enough horsepower right now, and while I can see that we're making progress, we haven't turned the corner yet.

"We ran our best engine on the dyno before we left for Las Vegas, and it had plenty of power for the first couple of pulls, but then it dropped off dramatically, so we're obviously still searching. Our guys have gone through that engine looking for the problem, but really, what counts is results, and right now we're falling short of our own expectations. We're going to keep refining our engine program, and keep working with the car until it all comes together for us."

Results:

Qualifying:
Session #1 - - 7.021/196.76 #9 (7.047 Bump)
Session #2 - - 6.994/197.33 #12 (7.019 Bump)
Session #3 - - 7.021/196.44 #12 (7.019 Bump)
Session #4 - - 7.066/195.90 #12 (7.012 Bump)

Eliminations:
Round #1 .480 R.T. 7.079/195.87 lost to Tom Hammonds .449 R.T. 7.040/196.70

Next: NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals, Houston, Texas April 12-14.

-mpsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Pawuk , Cory McClenathan , Tom Hammonds