HARD-LUCK LOSS, STEVENS JR. LOSES ON A HOLESHOT IN HOUSTON BAYTOWN, Texas (April 2, 2006) - Richie Stevens Jr. had one of the fastest Pro Stock cars in the first round of eliminations today at the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals, but lost on a ...
HARD-LUCK LOSS, STEVENS JR. LOSES ON A HOLESHOT IN HOUSTON
BAYTOWN, Texas (April 2, 2006) - Richie Stevens Jr. had one of the fastest Pro Stock cars in the first round of eliminations today at the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals, but lost on a heart-breaking holeshot advantage to Erica Enders.
The New Orleans native drove the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T to a quicker 6.703-second elapsed time at 205.60 mph, but it was Enders first at the finish line with a slower but winning 6.713/206.07. Enders' outstanding reaction time of .020 of a second (.000 is perfect) awarded her the win by .022 of a second over Stevens, who launched with a solid reaction time of .052.
Stevens' ET was the second-quickest of the round, but was not enough to advance him in the notoriously competitive Pro Stock field. "It's tough when it seems like everyone goes up there and runs one of their best runs of the weekend against you," said Stevens. "I guess I bring out the best in everyone, but that's not a good thing out here.
"We qualified out in left field (No. 14), and that put us behind the 8-ball going into today. Bob (Glidden, crew chief) completely changed the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge around for today. He changed the clutch over and went to a set-up from last year. I just didn't hit the light like I needed to, and she nailed hers.
"I didn't want to red-light; I wanted to give myself a chance, and give the guys a chance. My guys really worked hard this weekend and they gave me a great car today. Bob did his job, the crew did their job, and we just fell short. We are all in this together, so when we lose, we lose together.
"We'll just have to block out what happened today and go to Vegas. The car ran great today and went straight down the track; now we just have to do that four times in qualifying; then that will give us a better chance on race day."
He won't have to wait long. The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series heads straight to Las Vegas for the NHRA Summitracing.com Nationals at 'The Strip' at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 6-9.