Pawuk moves into top 10! RICHFIELD, OH 2/24/03 Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk's Summit Racing Pro Stock Pontiac team continued to make progress at the second of 23 NHRA POWERade Series national events. With yeoman service being provided by co-crew chiefs...
Pawuk moves into top 10!
RICHFIELD, OH 2/24/03 Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk's Summit Racing Pro Stock Pontiac team continued to make progress at the second of 23 NHRA POWERade Series national events. With yeoman service being provided by co-crew chiefs Marcus Bowen and Bob Glidden, as well as the non-stop efforts of the team in the engine shop, Pawuk's Pontiac Grand Am qualified for the second time in as many races in the top half of the field. This time Pawuk qualified two spots higher than at the season-opening Winternationals with a strong run to the sixth position.
"There's no question about it," Pawuk said on Monday morning following the race. "I think we're on the right track, so now we've got to win rounds, and then races."
Pawuk's first round win over Terry Adams was his first since the 2001 season. "You can't possibly believe how frustrating last year was," Pawuk said in a considerable understatement. "Our whole team has a newfound confidence, and I think we're capable of really contending again, which is a lot better than just being out there trying to make the field."
As important as was Pawuk's first round win was the fact that he's moved into the NHRA POWERade Top 10 for the first time since the end of the '01 season. "We're obviously pleased about that," he said. "But, just being in the Top 10 isn't good enough. We want to be at the top of the list, and while I know we're a long way from that, we're making progress."
Pawuk is also listed 17th among the hopefuls for this year's King Demon Challenge, which will be run in conjunction with the Matco Tools Supernationals at Englishtown in May. "We moved up on that list because of our qualifying efforts at Pomona and Phoenix," he said, "but for us to make the field would take a real miracle. We're certainly going to give it our best shot, but the odds on making the show are pretty slim at this point. We'll just have to take it one race at a time and then see what happens."
Pawuk was second after the first qualifying session, and other than the fourth and final attempt, was among the performance leaders in each round of qualifying. The car again delivered four runs over 200 miles per hour, with a best elapsed time of 6.850 seconds.
"We've got a long way to go," admitted Pawuk, "but it looks like we're headed in the right direction. I thought we ran pretty good at Pomona, and then ran even better at Phoenix. If we can continue this kind of improvement with every race, we'll be in good shape."
Matco Tools Dealer Convention, Cancun, Mexico March 1-6
Mac Tools Gatornationals, Gainesville, FL March 14-16