RICHIE STEVENS JR., DON SCHUMACHER RACING'S TEAM MOPAR/VALSPAR DODGE STRATUS R/T:
After earning the No. 1 spot in Friday night Pro Stock qualifying with a career-best 6.598/209.20, Richie Stevens Jr. made a valiant attempt to hold on to it during today's final two qualifying sessions for the ProCare Rx NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J. The driver of Don Schumacher Racing's Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T fell one place short, when Greg Anderson snatched the pole from Stevens with a track-record-setting 6.592/210.57 pass in the third session.
Stevens held on to No. 2 after posting a squirrelly 9.801/93.45 and a 6.632/208.39 under hot and sunny conditions today.
"Just too aggressive," he said of today's first run. "We were trying to go for it. We knew Greg was going to go up there and go for it so we had to go up there and do the same thing. I think we were just a little bit too aggressive. We backed it down for this last run. And that's what we're going to need to run tomorrow. A 6.63 and 6.62 should be good enough tomorrow to get around W.J.
"Not a bad weekend. No. 2 is nothing to complain about, although we would have liked to have had the No. 1 spot. It was looking good. It was the first time in a while that I had it, but that's the way it goes out here. Allen ended up No. 6, so we are both again in the top half, we're both keeping it alive, and we're both looking for a good day tomorrow.
"I'm just looking forward to going rounds tomorrow and gaining points to get myself where I need to be: in the top eight so we could make the cutoff, for that final Countdown to the Championship run."
Stevens faces Warren Johnson in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.
ALLEN JOHNSON, MOPAR/J&J RACING DODGE STRATUS R/T:
Allen Johnson collected the No. 6 position in qualifying for the ProCare Rx SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., posting his quickest pass of 6.617/208.81 in today's third round. His other attempts included a 6.624/208.46, a 6.621/208.59 on Friday and finally a 6.643/206.04 today.
"We are just being consistent, getting down the track every run," said Johnson. "The last run we put in a new motor and it looked like we hurt it. But it was on a really good run and downtrack the track wasn't sticky at all. Man, I was moving around loose. But for the weekend, Richie almost grabbed the pole, and we were right there close. We just didn't quite make as good a run Friday night or we might have been up there 2-3, in that range.
"We're sticking to the plan: get lane choice, win first round, and go from there."
Allen Johnson faces the other Johnson, Kurt, in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.