Pawuk's Career-Best Elapsed Time Fails To Crack Elite Pro Stock Field MOHNTON, PA 10/1/06 You've had those days, haven't you, where nothing seems to go right? Well, how about one of those years? Pro Stock veteran Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk of ...
Pawuk's Career-Best Elapsed Time Fails To Crack Elite Pro Stock Field
MOHNTON, PA 10/1/06 You've had those days, haven't you, where nothing seems to go right? Well, how about one of those years? Pro Stock veteran Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk of Richfield, OH is having one right now. Despite recording three consecutive career best elapsed times during qualifying for the Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, PA this weekend, Pawuk once again found himself on the outside looking in when eliminations began.
Despite that proverbial miss being as good as a mile, adding even more frustration was the fact that for the seventh time this season Pawuk ended up 17th, one spot short of the 16-car field.
"For all I know, this could be a record," Pawuk said on Sunday morning. "I don't know of any other racer who's come this close, this often, only to come away empty-handed. Failing to qualify is frustrating enough, but to miss out by these slim margins time after time is nothing short of maddening."
Pawuk's best effort of 6.671 seconds was just short of the 6.664 second bump spot, but it might as well have been a full minute, as there's no rewards for good elapsed times that just aren't good enough.
"This was the quickest field in NHRA history," Pawuk added, "and we really wanted to be a part of it.
"I don't really have any answers at this point, only questions, like, what do we have to do to turn this thing around? I wish I knew, but we've got a few opportunities remaining, including the Torco Racing Fuels Nationals in Virginia next weekend. We'll be there, and we'll be doing our best to be part of Sunday's eliminations racing."
Pawuk's previous personal bests included a 6.694 second elapsed time notched at last year's Dallas race and a top speed of 206.10 mph recorded at this year's Winternationals. At Maple Grove he improved those to 6.671 and 207.05 mph, but as he put it, "that's a pretty hollow 'victory.'"