GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Mark Whisnant, driver of the PiranaZ Chevrolet S-10 Pro Stock Truck, feels confident that he is ready to compete at the 32nd Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 15 - 18. The NHRA Pro Stock Truck...
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Mark Whisnant, driver of the PiranaZ Chevrolet S-10 Pro Stock Truck, feels confident that he is ready to compete at the 32nd Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 15 - 18.
The NHRA Pro Stock Truck schedule is set up that there is a six week lay off between the first truck race in Pomona, and the second stop on the truck tour in Gainesville. Whisnant and his PiranaZ team have spent the last six weeks in preparation for a race that was a problem for them last year.
Last year, Whisnant experienced some problems in qualifying and consequently was sitting in the Number 16 "bubble" position when the last session was run. As luck would have it, the last truck to go down the track in the last session would push Whisnant out of the show. Whisnant DNQ'ed at last years Gators, he is determined to not let that happen again.
"Last year Gainesville was not a very good race for us," said Whisnant of Stockbridge, Ga. "We got bumped out of the show by the last truck to go down the racetrack. It seemed like that was the start of some bad luck for us last season, but I do not think that will be the case this year.
"Actually, I am really looking forward to running in Gainesville. I feel confident and pumped up coming into this race. Our confidence comes from the way we ran out in California. I feel like we should be able to qualify this PiranaZ S-10 in the top half of the field without any problems.
At the WinterNationals Whisnant qualified a respectable tenth, but made an early exit when Greg Stanfield defeated him in Round 1.
"Although, I went out in the first round, I fell like it was a good race for us. If you look at our speed number from Pomona, It is obvious that we have the horsepower to get the job done. We are just having a little trouble getting the truck to run from the starting line to 330 feet. If we can get the truck to run better numbers on the bottom end, we will be more than okay in Gainesville.
"I also have tremendous confidence in my crew chief, Kevin Horst. Kevin is one of the best out there for set-up and tuning. He knows what it takes to make these trucks run. Although he has only been with us for a short time, I can already see a difference in our race program. So, I am confident that he will find what this truck needs to pick up our 60 and 330-foot times.
"I am fired up about running in Gainesville this year. Once we pick up on the bottom-end there is going to be no stopping us. If we stay consistent and make good runs, there is no reason why we should not be able to qualify this PiranaZ Chevrolet in the top half and go some rounds on Sunday.
"We will arrive in Gainesville with a new wild paint scheme for our sponsor PiranaZ. This will also be the first race PiranaZ CEO, Jeff Sommers will be attending. So we would like to make a good showing here in Gainesville for Jeff to thank him for his support.
"We are coming to Gainesville confident, fired up and ready to race."
Qualifying at the 32nd Annual Mac Tools Gatornationals begins on Friday March 16, and continues on Sat. March 17. Eliminations will take place at 11:00 AM EST on Sunday March 18.