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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

First Look!

Summit Racing to Unveil First
Pro Stock Grand Am at SEMA Show

By John Lindsey

First look at the 2001 Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am of Mark Pawuk. Photo by Alan Rebescher
Mark Pawuk's 2001 Summit Racing Grand Am will be officially unveiled October 31, but you saw it here first! Pawuk expects that Pontiac's newest racecar, which is lighter and sleeker than the Firebird, will reset speed and ET records next season. Photo by Alan Rebescher 

TALLMADGE, Ohio, October 25-- The Pontiac Grand Am will create excitement in the winner's circle in 2001, when it will become Pontiac Division's "official" vehicle for NHRA Winston Series Pro Stock drag racing. Representatives of Summit Racing Equipment will unveil the 2001 Pro Stock Grand Am for the first time at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. 

On Tuesday, October 31, GM Drag Racing Marketing Director Fred Simmonds will join Summit Racing General Manager Ray Tatko, Marketing Manager Jon Hedges, and racer Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk in unveiling Pawuk's Grand Am. The unveiling will take place in the Las Vegas Convention Center at 11:40 a.m. 

Summit Racing is Pawuk's primary sponsor. Pawuk, the Pro Stock winner at this year's Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing at National Trail Raceway in June, and runner-up at the Winston Showdown in Bristol in July, is currently ranked fifth in the NHRA Winston points standings, and is eager to begin testing his new car. 

Mark Pawuk in the winner's circle at Columbus 2000. Photo thanks to John Lindsey"I'm honored to be the one to help debut the new Grand Am to a group of automotive industry people as important as those who will be in Las Vegas for the SEMA Show," Pawuk said. "I've been looking over this Grand Am since the day it was completed, and I know I speak for our whole team when I say we can't wait to start testing. This is going to one very fast race car, and I think you're going to see a whole new set of both elapsed time and speed marks set with it once the 2001 NHRA Winston series season begins in February." 

Fred Simmonds concurs, stating that, "The numbers we've seen in the GM wind tunnel indicate the Grand Am is a superior aerodynamic race car. The Grand Am has a relatively small frontal area, meaning there's a smaller 'box' to push through the air. Race fans will see 200 mile per hour runs as a common occurrence." The new Grand Am is a significant departure from Pawuk's current machine, a Pontiac Firebird.

Built to meet the 2001 NHRA specifications, the Grand Am's body is completely made of carbon fiber as opposed to a combination of fiberglass panels and sheet metal. That means that the new body is both lighter and stronger than current Pro Stock cars, and based on the wind tunnel tests Simmonds referenced, it's considerably "faster" than the Firebird. 

Following its display at the SEMA Show the Summit Racing Grand Am will be immediately shipped to Detroit where it will be displayed before the attendees at the annual SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference & Exposition. Mark Pawuk will make a personal appearance with the car to answer any questions the SAE members might have. "I've talked with some of the SAE people in the past, and they are all razor sharp. I just hope they don't ask me anything too technical, because while I know the basics, to be an SAE member you've got to be a genius," said Pawuk. "I just hope I can keep up with them!" 

The car to be unveiled in Las Vegas was built for Pontiac by Jerry Haas Race Cars, while Pawuk awaits the delivery of a new car from fellow chassis builder Jerry Bickel of St. Louis. "We should have that car in our hands within a few weeks, and the minute we get it our pre-season testing program will begin," he said. 

Summit Racing is the world's largest catalog and Internet retailer of performance automotive and truck parts and accessories, with warehouses in Tallmadge and Sparks, Nevada. The company was founded in 1968. To request a free catalog, call 1 (800) 230-3030, or log onto http://www.summitracing.com/store_bin/freecatalog/


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