STEVENS JR. READY TO CAPITALIZE ON CONSISTENCY AT ATLANTA DRAGWAY COMMERCE, Ga. (May 4, 2006) - Its been just eight days since Richie Stevens Jr., and the entire Don Schumacher Racing Pro Stock team completed a successful test at Atlanta...
STEVENS JR. READY TO CAPITALIZE ON CONSISTENCY AT ATLANTA DRAGWAY
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 4, 2006) - Its been just eight days since Richie Stevens Jr., and the entire Don Schumacher Racing Pro Stock team completed a successful test at Atlanta Dragway, site of this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals. Under the watchful eye of new crew chief David Nickens, Stevens ran second quickest (6.760 seconds) on the quarter-mile in the test that featured 10 other NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock competitors.
Now, the driver of the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T will look to translate that into success this weekend at the second straight NHRA event following Bristol, Tenn., last weekend.
"We ran great down here right before the Bristol race," said Stevens, who was runner-up here in 1999 against Warren Johnson, "and I think everything will be the same this weekend. It's not like the weather or anything is going to change that much in 10 days or so.
"If anything, I think we will be stronger because David tried something new with the fuel when we tested on Monday in Bristol, and we ran a lot quicker than we had the whole weekend. I'm really looking forward to getting into the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge on Friday and seeing what it does right off the trailer. We have a lot of good data and a baseline setup to go off of from our test here, so hopefully that will carry on to this weekend immediately."
Stevens has shown consistency this season, qualifying in the top half of the field in five of the first six events and reaching the quarterfinals three times, including the last two events. "The car has been running a lot better," he said of the car's recent performance. "I think it is great to be in the top half going into Sunday. It usually gives you an advantage going into the race to know your car is stronger than the car in the lane next to you."
On the jelling of the new team: "Hopefully, with everyone having a weekend under their belts together, it will get rid of some of those stomach jitters, and we can go a few more rounds. I know David is confident that we are going to win some races soon, and I really feel like we can. We just need to get a few breaks here and there."