Pomona: Pawuk Racing Winternationals report

Pawuk Not Satisfied With Winternationals Performance POMONA, CA 2/10/02 Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk began his tenth season of racing under the Summit Racing Equipment banner by qualifying for one of the toughest Winnternationals Pro Stock fields in ...

Pawuk Not Satisfied With Winternationals Performance

POMONA, CA 2/10/02 Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk began his tenth season of racing under the Summit Racing Equipment banner by qualifying for one of the toughest Winnternationals Pro Stock fields in years. He drove his Pontiac Grand Am to a strong elapsed time of 6.855 seconds which was only good enough for the 15th spot in the field.

"We knew the competition was going to be tough this season," the Ohio businessman said following eliminations, "but I admit that we were kind of surprised at how everyone's stepped up. We're going to really have to get after our engine program if we hope to remain competitive. I saw an awful lot of good cars fail to make this field, so we feel fortunate to have been a part of it, but that's not what we were after.

"We want to be much more than just another competitor. We want to be contenders, so that's our goal for the CSK Nationals in Phoenix in two weeks. We can get there if we continue to pull together.

"I'm really pleased with the job that Rob Downing did in 'managing' the car this weekend. That was a key factor in our making the show today."

Although Pawuk failed to crack the NHRA POWERade Top 10 after a first round loss to Jim Yates, he's close enough to make into that elite group with a good finish inn Phoenix.

"Last year we had the same situation at the Winternationals," he recalled. "We lost in the first round at Pomona, and then went to the semifinals in Arizona, and that kind of set the tone for our early season run, so we're hoping to not just duplicate last year's Phoenix performance, but improve upon it, and I think we can."

Pawuk's crew will turn the big Freightliner/High Tech Trailers rig towards home first thing Monday morning, and by Wednesday afternoon the engine will be back on the dyno for more work.

"We've got a decent base package," Pawuk says, "but it needs refining. Once we get that situation straightened out I think we'll be in good shape.

"I'm certainly not happy about how things turned out, but we made the show and are obviously very much alive in the points race."

Results:

Qualifying:
Session #1 - - 6.908/198.61 #20 (6.893 Bump)
Session #2 - - 6.872/200.80 #16 (6.872 Bump)
Session #3 - - 6.855/201.19 #14 (6.860 Bump)
Session #4 - - 6.886/200.83 #15 (6.859 Bump)

Eliminations:
Round #1 .464 R.T. 6.843/202.18 lost to Jim Yates .454 R.R. 6.803/202.79

Next: CSK Nationals, Phoenix, Arizona, February 21-24

-pr-

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