Houston Richie Stevens' Day Ends Early

Title chase over early for Stevens HOUSTON (April 11) -- The Valspar Refinish crew of Pro Stock driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens was planning to paint Houston Raceway Park in their team colors during a victory celebration at the end of Sunday's...

Title chase over early for Stevens

HOUSTON (April 11) -- The Valspar Refinish crew of Pro Stock driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens was planning to paint Houston Raceway Park in their team colors during a victory celebration at the end of Sunday's final elimination round. Instead, the crew will have to spend the night dreaming of what could have been as Stevens bowed out of title contention in the quarterfinal round of the 12th Annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil.

Stevens, who pilots the Valspar Refinish Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, was beaten by former Rookie of the Year driver Mike Edwards, who posted a steady lap of 6.972 seconds at 198.17 mph to better Stevens' partially shut-off time of 8.018 seconds at 127.86 mph.

"He got the jump on me at the lights (0.454 to 0.525 seconds) and then my car started going right and the tires were spinning," Stevens said. "Nothing was going right that time. The further I went down the track, the more I felt like I was getting out of shape so I just shut her off. I saw Edwards pulling away and I knew I wasn't going to catch him.

"We had a big group of friends and family from New Orleans here and a bunch of folks from Valspar came out. I really wanted to show them a win. The crew certainly did all they could to get us into the next round. It just wasn't our turn today. We'll have to do better next time around.

"This was still a good weekend for us. We won another round and I would think we'll move up a bunch in the points so we're very happy over here in the Valspar pit. We'll get this engine freshened up and head to Dallas. I hope we'll come away with a win."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Edwards