One week you're up, and the next troubles continue for Pawuk Racing In Memphis MEMPHIS, TN 9/23/02 Despite the fact that weather limited Pro Stock qualifying at the O'Reilly Nationals in Memphis to three sessions, Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk isn't ...
One week you're up, and the next troubles continue for Pawuk Racing In Memphis
MEMPHIS, TN 9/23/02 Despite the fact that weather limited Pro Stock qualifying at the O'Reilly Nationals in Memphis to three sessions, Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk isn't "blaming" that for his team's DNQ. "Everyone was in the same situation," he said following qualifying. "We all had the same three shots at the track, and the bottom line is that we didn't get the job done with our Summit Racing Pontiac.
"I'm pretty frustrated by what's going on, because after our last outing in Reading (at the Lucas Oil Nationals), I thought we were headed in the right direction, but this weekend's results indicate otherwise.
"We're missing something somewhere. I'm sure of it, and so is Rob Downing, our crew chief. I don't think we're missing the combination at the track, I just think we don't have enough horsepower. I know our guys at the shop are working as hard as they can, but at this point I'm going to try and get someone to come in and take a complete look at what we're doing, from the top of the carburetors to the bottom of the oil pan, and from the radiator to the transmission. There's something wrong somewhere, and we've got to find it. This is kind of like when you lose your car keys, and spend three hours ripping the house apart only to find out they were in your jacket pocket the whole time. I think that's what's going on here. There's some little thing, some critical part, that we're all looking at and not 'seeing.'"
On three successive runs Pawuk's Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am improved, but not enough. In the first session the car cranked out a 6.933/198.29, then improved to a 6.883/199.49 and closed with a still-better 6.875/199.85. The bump spot was 6.872.
"It doesn't matter if you miss it by a thousandth of a second, or a couple of tenths," Pawuk said. "The bottom line was we weren't in the show on Sunday, and that hurts. It hurts us, and it hurts our sponsors.
"We're running out of chances to make it to the winners circle this year," he added. "We won the fall Las Vegas race last year, and we would dearly love to repeat that, but we're going to have to be awfully lucky to do it. We know luck counts, but hard work can help you make luck, so we'll head home and dig into our engines to see if we can find anything that we can improve on by the Joliet race this coming weekend."