Koretsky's Great Season Would Become Even Better with Finals Win Nitro Fish Wear Driver Clinches Place in Top 10 for First Time POMONA, Calif., Nov. 9, 2004 - Ken Koretsky is about to write the final chapter of his finest NHRA Pro Stock season.
Koretsky's Great Season Would Become Even Better with Finals Win
Nitro Fish Wear Driver Clinches Place in Top 10 for First Time
POMONA, Calif., Nov. 9, 2004 - Ken Koretsky is about to write the final chapter of his finest NHRA Pro Stock season. And he'd love to put an exclamation point on it by winning the 40th annual Auto Club Finals at Pomona Raceway, Nov. 11-14.
"It's been a great year. It's a nice feeling to go into the last race knowing we are guaranteed a top 10 finish," Koretsky said. "We had high expectations when we were here (at the Winternationals) in February. We wanted to be a top 10 team and we really felt like we could do it."
Koretsky and his Nitro Fish Wear Dodge Stratus team made a stretch run in the last five races to climb from outside the elite 10 into ninth position. His strong finish includes a runner-up at the prestigious U.S. Nationals in his first NHRA final round and back-to-back semifinal finishes at Reading, Pa., and Las Vegas. They boosted his point total to 928, 81 points ahead of No. 10 Rickie Smith.
"We missed two races early in the year (at Phoenix and Houston)," added the Richboro, Pa., driver. "If we hadn't done that, we'd be in the middle of the pack. It took Eddie (Guarnaccia, crew chief) and the crew a little while to get the car sorted out, but once they did, we've been very consistent."
A look at his performance chart tells the story:
Koretsky has qualified a career-best third four times; lowered his best elapsed time to 6.679 seconds; improved his fastest speed to 206.39 mph; raced in a career high 20 races to date; and qualified in the top eight 13 times.
"Eddie and the crew - assistant crew chiefs Joe Cunningham and Jerry Eckman and Denver Black, our transportation director - did great jobs preparing the car," Koretsky pointed out. "Eddie made a lot of great calls on the tune-ups and I'm sure he'll do it again this weekend.
"The pressure's off us going into the Finals, so it should be fun."
Guarnaccia, meanwhile, wants to make amends for Koretsky's Winternationals performance where he qualified 10th and lost in the opening round.
"We struggled in the early races because we were having problems getting the car to respond to our tune-ups," the crew chief said. "It took us until the seventh race before the car came around.
"We keep trying . . . and one of these days it's going to be our day. We have a good enough car and Kenny's been driving good enough to win one of these races."
"We want to end the season with a good performance in front of all the fans at Pomona," Koretsky concluded. "A win would be one way they'll remember us."