Surrounded by a pack of Chevrolet COPO Camaros, former NHRA Pro Stock standout Mark Pawuk raced his way to the top of the provisional Factory Stock Showdown qualifying list at the NHRA Midwest Nationals outside of St. Louis.
Pawuk unloaded with a monster run of 7.814 seconds at 175.48 mph in Friday’s lone FSS qualifying session to reset both ends of the World Wide Technology Raceway track record.
Pawuk, who currently sits second in the Factory Stock Showdown point standings thanks in part to a runner-up finish from the No. 2 spot at the U.S. Nationals last month, is a three-time finalist in the category. At World Wide Technology Raceway in 2018, Pawuk clocked the second official sub-eight second Factory Stock run to reset the class E.T. record at the time and earn his first Factory Stock No. 1 qualifier. In 2019, St. Louis was where he once again reset his career-best numbers, which held strong until Friday night’s run.
“What a great start for the Empaco Equipment/Ohio CAT/Mr. Heater Dodge Drag Pak,” said Pawuk, a two-time Factory Stock No. 1 qualifier. “That run was incredible, and I’m proud we were able to take the No. 1 spot tonight. Whether that will hold tomorrow, I’m not sure. The weather will be a little bit warmer, and I think we’re going to run a little earlier. We had perfect conditions today, and our Mopar machines ran great in this cool air. I’d love to stay in that No. 1 spot come Sunday. Would love to go some more rounds again and accumulate more points. It’s been since 2001 since I won an NHRA national event, and I’d love nothing more than to get my first win in my Empaco Equipment Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at our sponsors’ event.
“Mopar recently debuted the new Drag Pak, and it sold out in 18 minutes,” added Pawuk. “I’m really looking forward to getting into the new 2021 car, but I tell you what, I’ll take my old baby right now because she’s running awfully good!”
Defending NHRA Pro Modified champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson was the quickest of the doorslammers laying down a 5.659 elapsed time at 253.52 miles per hour. Brandon Snider was second, followed by Khalid alBalooshi at third.
J.R. Carr made his presence known in Friday’s lone Mountain Motor Pro Stock session as he laid down the quickest run in this history of the series, stopping the timers at 6.179 seconds, at 228.23 miles per hour. Trevor Eman was a distant second (6.238), and John DeFlorian was third (6.267).
Other low qualifiers included Bruno Massel (Comp), Greg Stanfield (Super Stock), Larry DeForrest (Stock), and Phillip Oakley (Top Dragster).
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