Denver: Richie Stevens Jr preview

MOPAR DRIVER RICHIE STEVENS JR. LOOKING FOR MILE-HIGH SENSATION MORRISON, Colo. (July 10, 2006) - Richie Stevens Jr. is hoping to run the gamut on a season of highs and lows by securing his first Pro Stock win of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag...

MOPAR DRIVER RICHIE STEVENS JR. LOOKING FOR MILE-HIGH SENSATION

MORRISON, Colo. (July 10, 2006) - Richie Stevens Jr. is hoping to run the gamut on a season of highs and lows by securing his first Pro Stock win of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season at this weekend's Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, just outside of Denver.

Stevens, driving the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T, has been on a roll of late, reaching at least the quarterfinals in each of his past three races (first time for him since Topeka, Kan., Joliet, Ill., and Englishtown, N.J., in 2005). This consistency has elevated him from 14th to 11th in the Pro Stock point standings, just 17 points out of the top 10.

A victory at his sponsor's race would assure him a spot in the top 10 and would cap off what has been a trying first-half of the season for the 27-year-old New Orleans native. "If you can win one race in a season, and it's your sponsor's race, that would be awesome. It would be great for Mopar, and I can't even express how much it would mean to me to win THAT race," he says.

"We've been on an upswing since Chicago, and it seems like winning a race is the next logical step for this team."

Stevens' goal is to keep gaining ground in the point standings. "There are really some opportunities to move up," he says. "Things seem to be getting tighter (he's 17 points from 10th, 25 from ninth, and 73 from eighth), and I'd really like to get back to at least eighth (where he finished in 2005), so we just have to keep going rounds and put some heat on everyone else.

"We did some really good testing at Bandimere last week," adds Stevens. "It's a very important track to have a good tune-up because it is so different than anywhere else we race (because of the high altitude). We're going to show up with some engines with a little more power than what we tested with, so that makes me really confident. David (Nickens, crew chief and engine builder) has been in Texas doing his thing with the engines, and I worked on my reaction times in testing, so I think we are in great shape."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Richie Stevens Jr.