Topeka, Kan. (Pre-Race) - Mark Whisnant, driver of the RW Performance Chevrolet S-10, is determined that when he leaves Heartland Park on Sunday after the running of the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, that he will once again hold a...
Topeka, Kan. (Pre-Race) - Mark Whisnant, driver of the RW Performance Chevrolet S-10, is determined that when he leaves Heartland Park on Sunday after the running of the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, that he will once again hold a top 10 spot in the prestigious Winston Pro Stock Truck points standings.
The top 10 has eluded Whisnant since Febuary when he left the Winternationals in the sixth position. Since that time he has bounced between the 12th and 17th positions, with a top 10 birth just out of arms reach. Currently Whisnant holds the 12th position, just 67 points away from his goal.
"Our goal for this race is to see if we can get back into the top 10 in the Winston points," said Whisnant, the charismatic young driver from Stockbridge, Ga. "I don't think that goal is out of reach. We are 12th right now. To get back in the top 10 what we need to do in Topeka is qualify in the top half of the field and go a couple rounds on Sunday. I think we can do that this weekend."
"After Indy we went back to our shop and reviewed the race. When we looked at our notes and the computer, we saw some things that we did wrong. We had the horsepower, but we tried a new clutch that didn't work out for us. For Topeka, we decided to go back to our old clutch set-up. We think that that particular set-up will work better for the conditions we will have in Topeka.
"It's fall now and for the rest of the season we will be racing at the cool weather racetracks. I personally, am looking forward to racing in the cooler conditions. The motor we have in the truck has only been run in hot and extreme conditions, and has done pretty well. It has made a lot of horsepower for us so far. But I will be excited to see what kind of horsepower we can make as it starts to cool off.
"Last year in Topeka we just barely missed the field. We ended up 17th by speed only. Chip Ippolito ran the same ET as us, but with more mile-per-hour. He qualified and we didn't. I know we will do better this year.
"We have good data on the racetrack from last year, and we definitely have more horsepower this year. It helps us a lot when we are able to go off of last years data. We can then tune and set-up the truck before we get to the racetrack. That way, hopefully, we can come right off the truck and make good runs.
"I want to get back in the top 10. That is what we are shooting for this weekend. I think we could step around Larry Seay and Jeff Gracia but it will take us qualifying well into the top half, and going some rounds on Sunday. I feel confident that with this RW Performance race team behind me, that we will leave Topeka with a spot back in the top 10."
Qualifying at the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals will take place on Friday Sept. 29 and Saturday Sept. 30. Eliminations will take place on Sunday Oct. 1 at 11:00 CST.