Sonoma: Ken Koretsky preview

Improving Performances Make Koretsky Eager for More Winning Fram Autolite Nationals, Qualifying First among His Goals SONOMA, Calif., July 28, 2004 - Setting personal performance bests is old hat to some NHRA Pro Stock competitors, especially ...

Improving Performances Make Koretsky Eager for More
Winning Fram Autolite Nationals, Qualifying First among His Goals

SONOMA, Calif., July 28, 2004 - Setting personal performance bests is old hat to some NHRA Pro Stock competitors, especially veteran drivers.

Don't count Ken Koretsky among them.

Koretsky may be termed a veteran because he's made 155 career starts, although those are over more than 15 years of hit-and-miss competition. The success he's experiencing this season, however, is thus far unparalleled.

In just the last three races, Koretsky lowered his quickest elapsed time to 6.745 seconds at St. Louis; qualified third at Denver, equaling a starting best established in Chicago in May; and improved his best elapsed time again, this time to 6.723 seconds at Seattle on Sunday.

"I'm very excited with the way our Nitro Fish Wear Dodge is running," he said. "It's unbelievable. Things have changed to where I'm not just trying to qualify; I'm trying to qualifying No. 1."

Grabbing the pole position for Sunday's Fram Autolite Nationals will be foremost on Koretsky's mind when qualifying begins Friday at Infineon Raceway and continues Saturday.

There are several key ingredients leading to Koretsky's success through the first 14 POWERade Series events. Hemi horsepower, supplied by Larry Morgan and veteran driver/engine builder and 10-time Pro Stock champion Bob Glidden, gives Koretsky the steam to churn out the personal bests and crew chief Eddie Guarnaccia's skilled tuning of the car, clutch and suspension provides the good ride.

"Eddie definitely has the car dialed in," added Koretsky, who has worked with Guarnaccia virtually all his racing career. "I think we've already surprised a few people and I hope we keep doing it. About the only thing that needs to be done now is for me to sharpen my performance on race day."

"We think we are capable of finishing in the top 10," said the Richboro, Pa.-based driver who has never been in the top 10 at season's end. "We're getting close. We're only 29 points behind Rickie Smith, who is 10th. We're going to keep nipping away at that lead."

This is the first time Koretsky and Guarnaccia have raced at the track that borders part of California's large wine country.

"We hadn't competed at Seattle before last weekend and I think we did a good job," said Koretsky.

His 6.723-second run came in the first round of eliminations Sunday and sent Smith home early. Koretsky lost to a quicker V Gaines in the quarterfinals.

"The car went to the right on that run, but we should have that problem solved by the time we get to Sonoma," continued Koretsky. "We had a problem with the line-lock during the qualifying run Saturday morning and that really hurt us. The conditions were the best we had during qualifying and we thought we could run with the top two or three cars. We wound up sixth, instead."

That's history. Koretsky, Guarnaccia and the team are more interested in writing a new chapter in the driver's future NHRA success story.

This race marks the end of NHRA's traditional Western Swing with stops at Denver and Seattle preceding it. Qualifying is on tap Friday at 3 and 6 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eliminations Sunday begin at 11 a.m.

-nitrofish-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Glidden , Rickie Smith