Gainesville: Richie Stevens Jr Saturday summeary

STEVENS JR. POSTS CAREER-BEST ET TO QUALIFY NO. 5 IN GAINESVILLE GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2006) - New Orleans-born Pro Stock driver Richie Stevens Jr. is used to the sun, and it showed during qualifications for the NHRA Gatornationals under...

STEVENS JR. POSTS CAREER-BEST ET TO QUALIFY NO. 5 IN GAINESVILLE

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18, 2006) - New Orleans-born Pro Stock driver Richie Stevens Jr. is used to the sun, and it showed during qualifications for the NHRA Gatornationals under sunny conditions and temperatures in the 70s in each of the two days. The driver of the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T posted a career-best elapsed time of 6.664 seconds at 206.04 mph to qualify No. 5 in the quickest Pro Stock field in the history of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

His run capped a series of consistent qualifying passes heading into Sunday's final eliminations. His other laps included a 6.727/205.33, 6.705/205.57, and a 6.695/205.71.

"We want to go as quick as possible all the time, or else we wouldn't be race-car drivers," he said of his quick run. "The fans love to see it as well, and this is a track that puts up big numbers.

"We're in the field and we made great runs throughout the whole weekend. The 6.664 probably could have been a little better, but we'll take it and head into tomorrow."

Stevens' goal for Sunday, as always, is to go rounds and acquire as many points as possible, "Let's just get out of the first round and take one round at a time and rack up those points," he said.

"When it comes down to the end of the year and you're fighting for spots or the championship every point matters, every little point counts. It's good to have the attitude to just go out there and go rounds on Sunday and be consistent, and worry about winning the race later."

Stevens will face Tom Martino in the first round of Sunday eliminations. "Lane choice is always a factor, so qualifying No. 5 is great," he added. "It helps us on Sunday, and in the King Demon Crown points (based off qualifying, currently fifth), so it helps us several ways.

"We are headed in the right direction."

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Richie Stevens Jr. , Tom Martino