NHRA Route 66 Nationals
Koretsky qualifies third but exits in opening round
Chicago, Sunday: Kenny Koretsky left Route 66 Raceway proud of what his Nitro Fish Wear Pro Stock Dodge team had accomplished during a strange Route 66 Nationals weekend that was troubled by weird weather conditions all weekend.
He also left disappointed because he didn't take advantage of it. Koretsky, who qualified an NHRA career-best No. 3, left the starting line too quick - by six thousandths of a second - and went to the sidelines despite outrunning Kurt Johnson in the first round Sunday.
Koretsky made good qualifying runs, climaxed by his 6.831-second effort at 201.40 mph on Saturday's final attempt. That jumped him from 10th to third. The red-light start wiped out a 6.873 at 201.61 mph that would've easily beat Johnson's 6.886 at 201.31.
"I went through my normal starting line routine but I think I put the car in deep (too close to the starting line), and when I let out the clutch, it was just a tad too soon," Koretsky said. "It was a good weekend for us because Eddie had the car going down the track consistently. I just wish we would've been able to go more rounds. You can blame that one on the driver."
Koretsky's Dodge hits 6.831 seconds at Route 66 Nationals
Chicago, Saturday: Veteran Pro Stock driver Kenny Koretsky will be starting Sunday's Route 66 Nationals eliminations in the highest qualifying position of his NHRA career.
Koretsky drove the Nitro Fish Wear Dodge Stratus to the third-quickest qualifying elapsed time Saturday, 6.831 seconds at 201.40 mph, on a day punctuated by rain delays. He'll race Kurt Johnson (No. 14, 6.864 at 201.76 mph) in the opening round.
"It's a good feeling when things go well," said Koretsky, from Richboro, Pa. "Eddie (Guarnaccia, the crew chief) said he thought we could step up on the last run. He gives me confidence to drive like I did. Larry Morgan and Bob Glidden give us good motors and Eddie and the crew did a good job preparing the car."
They did it so well, in fact, that Koretsky out-qualified Morgan, who was seventh (6.845 at 201.79 mph).
"That run was as nice as it gets," said Guarnaccia as he looked at the run on the computer. "Kenny did a nice job driving in probably the worst (weather) conditions of the weekend. Obviously we have the power and the combination. Our performance picked up on each of the four runs."
Jason Line, teammate of series point leader and six-time 2004 winner Greg Anderson, supplanted Anderson at No. 1 with a 6.802 at 202.33 to a 6.808 at 203.25.
Koretsky's looking for more good outings
Chicago, pre-race: Add improving performances to Kenny Koretsky's love of drag racing and you have results that make it very enjoyable for the Richboro, Pa., driver to make weekend forays into POWERade Series competition.
Koretsky works in his regular weekday business climate and then climbs into his Nitro Fish Wear Pro Stock Dodge Stratus for the NHRA events, like the one this weekend at Route 66 Raceway, appropriately named the seventh annual NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
"We are definitely excited about going to the Chicago area," Koretsky said after his finest 2004 outing in the Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway last Sunday. "We have a good baseline combination now and we want to continue to keep getting better.
"I'm very happy with the way the car's performance is improving. Eddie (Guarnaccia, the crew chief) and the crew have been doing a great job. Eddie has worked hard to figure out how to prepare this car all season, and it's running better at each race," he continued.
Koretsky parlayed his highest qualifying position this year seventh, 6.821 seconds at 203.40 mph into a first-round victory over Rickie Smith, but lost in the quarterfinals to Jason Line.
"We were a little fortunate in the first round when Rickie had a problem, but it was important that we went down the track with no problems of our own," said Koretsky. "Eddie was able to do more research on the chassis too. Everything we learn is very valuable."
The showing left Koretsky 14th in the point standings. He has 199 and is only two rounds of racing from a place in the top 10.
"We moved closer to the field and I'm confident we can continue to improve," said Guarnaccia, who wasn't able to attend his parents' surprise 50th anniversary party Sunday because he was at Atlanta Dragway. "We are getting good motors from Larry Morgan and Bob Glidden and I'm looking forward to this race so we can keep this program moving forward."
Return to Star Tracks Archive
Return to the Home Page