Bristol: Thunder Valley smiles on Stevens

BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 8) -- Popular Pro Stock driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens fought through the electrical problems that slowed his Valspar Pontiac yesterday and posted two solid qualifying laps Saturday at Bristol Dragway. The move helped...

BRISTOL, Tenn. (July 8) -- Popular Pro Stock driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens fought through the electrical problems that slowed his Valspar Pontiac yesterday and posted two solid qualifying laps Saturday at Bristol Dragway. The move helped Stevens earn a respectable 12th place starting point for tomorrow's elimination rounds of the second annual $50,000 Winston "No Bull" Showdown.

After two aborted passes on Friday, Stevens opened today's action with a smooth 7.107-second lap at 194.35 mph to move from 22nd place to the 13th spot on the qualifying ladder. He then improved with a 7.090-second run at 194.13 mph in Round 4, which allowed him to move up one more position. He will face engine supplier and five-time Winston champion Warren Johnson in the opening round of eliminations. Johnson's best lap of the weekend was a 7.055-second pass at 195.65 mph.

"We found the electrical problem and corrected it," Stevens said. "That eliminated the miss that had developed in the motor and we were able to run better today. I'm really happy with that 7.09 this afternoon because no one else was able to improve in that session besides us. It was just too hot. But we got a nice lap down and we're heading in the right direction.

"We're still not completely where we need to be with this Valspar Pontiac. We haven't been consistent. We were today but that's just one day. We need to be consistent all the time if we want to win races. Even today the car was bouncing all over the place downtrack so I know that cost us some e.t.

"Warren will have lane choice against us but we ran pretty quick down both sides today so I don't think it'll be that big of a deal. Every round tomorrow earns big bucks so I hope we can hang in there and go at least a couple of rounds. Winning the $50,000 is just a dream right now but we're in the hunt so anything is possible."

Final eliminations for the second annual Winston "No Bull" Showdown begin at 11 a.m. (ET) tomorrow with driver introductions starting at 10 a.m. (ET). Qualifying highlights for the second annual Winston "No Bull" Showdown will air tonight from 10 p.m. to midnight (ET) on ESPN2. The elimination rounds will be shown from 9:30-11:30 p.m. (ET), tomorrow, also on ESPN2.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson