Las Vegas: Mark Whisnant eliminations summary

Whisnant Goes to Semis in Las Vegas. LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Mark Whisnant, driver of the RW Performance / Snap-On Tools Chevrolet Cavalier, entered the 4th annual Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev. in the sixth position on the Pro ...

Whisnant Goes to Semis in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Mark Whisnant, driver of the RW Performance / Snap-On Tools Chevrolet Cavalier, entered the 4th annual Summitracing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev. in the sixth position on the Pro Stock eliminations ladder.

It was in the Friday night session of qualifying where Whisnant clocked a 6.909 / 198.15 mph to secure his position in today's race.

In Round 1 Whisnant lined up against rookie Pro Stock driver Taylor Lastor. When Whisnant and Lastor pulled into the beams, a staging battle ensued. After a stand off which lasted nearly a full minute Whisnant lit the second light engaging the timing tree. Although, Lastor took the advantage at the starting line it would not be enough to hold off Whisnant. In one of the closest races of the day, Whisnant ran a 6.915 / 198.26 mph to defeat Lastor who ran a 6.944 / 199.82 mph with a margin of victory of .0005 of a second.

Round 2 place Whisnant up against Scott Geoffrion. Geoffrion took the advantage on the starting line, but dramatically slowed at half-track letting Whisnant drive around him for the win. Whisnant ran a 6.967 / 197.59 mph to defeat Geoffrion with a 7.031 / 198.99 mph.

The semi-finals placed Whisnant against old nemesis Kurt Johnson. Whisnant had his best light of the day, at .017 of a second, but the advantage he took at the starting line was not enough for a victory. Johnson ran a 6.894 / 201 mph to Whisnant 6.954 / 197.57 mph.

"Every round today tough," said Whisnant,"there were no easy wins here today."

"It is hard to know going in that you are going to loose .030 of a second just because you are in the right lane. Knowing that Kurt (Johnson) had me covered as far as ET goes, I knew that I had to take a shot at him. That was all I could do when it was me vs. Kurt vs. the lane vs. our past history. With all those things stacked against me, all I could do was cut as good of a light as I could. I was out in front of him, but just did not have enough to get the job done.

"Even though we didn't win, I feel good about how we did here this weekend. We are starting to get our mojo back. This is just what my team needed. We went two rounds in Gainesville. We got to the semis today. I feel our momentum building. Hopefully, at the next race we can get to the finals.

"So far this is our best trip we have ever had here in a car. I owe all of that to my team. Gary, Markus, Dennis and Terry; gave me a great racecar. They were always ready for every round, and pulled every thing they could out of this Cavalier. They are the reason I went as far as I did today."

The next race on the 2003 POWERade Drag Racing circuit will be the 16th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston, Texas April 10 -- 13.

-rwp-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Geoffrion , Mark Whisnant