Gainesville: Richie Stevens Jr preview

Stevens Jr. forges ahead to Gators after Valdosta testing GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2006) - Richie Stevens Jr., driver of the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T Pro Stock car, is ready to attack the NHRA Gatornationals this weekend at ...

Stevens Jr. forges ahead to Gators after Valdosta testing

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2006) - Richie Stevens Jr., driver of the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T Pro Stock car, is ready to attack the NHRA Gatornationals this weekend at Gainesville, Fla., following a successful three-day test session at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Ga.

"We went 6.683 seconds at 202.06 mph in the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge in the heat of the day on Monday, and it felt pretty good," said Stevens.

Tuesday testing followed with a string of quick, solid passes, including a 6.688/206.88, a 6.685/206.85 and a best of 6.681/207.60. "It felt like a bracket car," said Stevens, who is looking for his first Pro Stock win since joining Don Schumacher Racing in 2005. "If we can keep that up on race day in Gainesville, we'll be looking good. That was with a new engine, and it sounded great. Bob (Glidden, crew chief) said we'll probably leave that bullet in there for the race."

The New Orleans native, who is ninth in Pro Stock points after two events, is ready to move up in the standings this weekend. "We want to keep climbing up the ladder," he said. "We had some bad luck in Pomona, made some progress in Phoenix and went a round, so we just have to keep climbing up that ladder.

"The test session helped out a lot. The conditions were pretty close to what we usually face on race days. We got some good data for the hot tracks. It should help us out on midday Saturday and on Sundays, which is where we struggled a little bit last year.

"Testing is so hard on the crew guys," he continued, "and I'm a little worn out, but it's worth it. Now I'm ready to get to Gainesville and go some rounds on Sunday."

Last year in Gainesville, Stevens qualified 14th and lost in the second round to eventual event winner Jason Line.

-dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Richie Stevens Jr. , Jason Line , Don Schumacher