Pomona: GM Racing Thursday summary

POMONA, Calif., Feb. 6, 2003 - Chevy Cavalier driver Troy Coughlin led the Pro Stock category with an impressive run of 6.809 seconds at 202.42 mph during today's first round of qualifying for the 43rd annual NHRA Winternationals. Coughlin, the ...

POMONA, Calif., Feb. 6, 2003 - Chevy Cavalier driver Troy Coughlin led the Pro Stock category with an impressive run of 6.809 seconds at 202.42 mph during today's first round of qualifying for the 43rd annual NHRA Winternationals. Coughlin, the runner-up to his brother Jeg at the 1999 Winternationals, also captured one of his two career No. 1 qualifying efforts here at Pomona Raceway during the 1999 NHRA Finals.

"The whole Jeg's team did an outstanding job getting this Chevrolet ready to race," said Coughlin. "And I couldn't be happier with the progress we made over the winter or the effort we made here today. Just qualifying in the top 16 would have been a great accomplishment, but to be on the pole today is a testament to our team and our new crew chief, Tommy Utt.

"We've had a lot of success at this racetrack over the years, so as a family, you might say we enjoy racing here at Pomona. We've been thrashing hard on our engine program over the winter and have made great strides in getting this Cavalier up to speed. Hopefully we can continue this pace and be here on Sunday."

Coughlin's Chevrolet was just .009 of a second quicker than No. 2 qualifier Mark Pawuk who drove the Summit Racing Pontiac SC/T Grand Am to a 6.818 elapsed time at 201.82 mph.

"Our Summit Racing Pontiac was one of the few cars that made a good run in that session," said Pawuk. "There's not much left in it but I have to tip my hat to my entire team. They've been working awfully hard. We had things going strong last weekend in Houston with mineshaft conditions, so we didn't really know how we'd stack up today compared to everybody else. And we still don't because there were some good cars that will come back tomorrow and step up. We're pretty optimistic though. This motor showed pretty good power on the dyno and hopefully we'll have enough to be a part of this 16-car field on Sunday.

"It's nice to have Bob (Glidden) around and everyone's having fun. In the past I've been a little hard on myself, so I've decided to keep it light around here this year, keep a positive attitude and just do the best we can."

Mark Whisnant placed his Chevy Cavalier in the third sport while Pontiac SC/T Grand Am driver Tom Martino settled for fourth.

Qualifying highlights for the Winternationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, Feb. 8, beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern. Final eliminations will be telecast on ESPN2 on Sunday, Feb. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m.

-gm-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Troy Coughlin , Mark Pawuk , Tom Martino , Mark Whisnant