Championship Drag Racing

Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Clermont, IN
(August 31-September 5)

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Driver Profile
Mark Pawuk
Pawuk Racing Pontiac GTO
Pro Stocker

Pawuk’s new GTO ready for the 'Big Go'

Indianapolis, prerace: "This car is beautiful," said Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk after seeing his new Pontiac GTO Pro Stock for the first time since its completion just a few days ago at Jerry Bickel’s chassis shop in St. Louis. "We’re going to test here in St. Louis for a couple of days, and then head over to Indy for the U.S. Nationals, where I think we’re going to be competitive for the first time this season."

Pawuk arrived in St. Louis after team member Craig Hankinson had already registered some competitive elapsed times in the 6.7 second range after just three runs in the new car. "It tracked straight down the groove on the first run," Hankinson reported. "Jerry (Bickel) did a great job on the car."

Pawuk was also pleased with the performance of the engine in the car, one he acknowledged isn’t the best in their arsenal. "Jim Shaver, our crew chief, Marcus Bowen, and Craig did this engine, and it had enough steam to run in the six-seventies on just the third run, so we’re confident that we’ll be competitive at Indy.

"There’s no doubt about the fact that the Pro Stock field at the U.S. Nationals is going to be the toughest of the year, and we’re determined to be a part of the show on Labor Day Monday. This car has the potential to run very good numbers. We can already see that with just some initial test runs. Two full days of running in conditions somewhat similar to Indy should give us enough information so we can hit the track next Friday evening at Indianapolis Raceway Park with a good elapsed time.

"I honestly enjoyed my time away from racing, but after taking one look at this new GTO my enthusiasm for racing is right back up there. Testing is one thing, but I can’t wait to get back on the track when it really counts.

"We’re certainly not ‘involved’ in this year’s POWERade championship chase, but I think we’re going to be in a position to have a direct impact on who ultimately does win it. A round win here or there by our Pontiac GTO could really shake up the points race. Wouldn’t that be something?"

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