STEVENS STUMBLES IN CHICAGO FIRST ROUND JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 2, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. is beginning to question why anyone in his right mind would want to compete in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series' Pro Stock division, the class that ...
STEVENS STUMBLES IN CHICAGO FIRST ROUND
JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 2, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. is beginning to question why anyone in his right mind would want to compete in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series' Pro Stock division, the class that annually provides tight, nail-biting performances in both qualifying and eliminations.
"To make you go nuts, to make you drive yourself crazy and everything else," was his answer today after his second straight first-round loss following an excellent runner-up finish at the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day.
Stevens and the Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus team were on a roll in qualifying, grabbing No. 4 with four stout passes, but a horsepower issue in the first-round contest against Mike Edwards proved the team's undoing today.
The pair launched with near-identical reaction times (.045 for Stevens, .046 for Edwards), but a loss of power in the Dodge was evident at the hit, and Edwards scored the win with a 6.783/202.52 to Stevens' 6.797/203.03.
"Mike did what he had to do," said Stevens, disappointed but undaunted. "Something wasn't right. The car wouldn't idle right and we just didn't make a good run. I couldn't say it any plainer. We just didn't make a good run.
"It wasn't one of the runs we made during qualifying. It didn't leave the starting line good. We have been .980s and .990s at 60 feet, and it was .1010 leaving the starting line today. It just didn't go.
"Something has to be wrong. It's a shame it happened in the first round. I wish it would have happened in one of the qualifying rounds yesterday and maybe we would have caught it.
"That's the way my luck's been all year."
Stevens actually moved up a spot in the Pro Stock point standings, and is now in seventh place. "The only good thing is that everybody around me in points lost in the first round also," he said.
By out-qualifying Ron Krisher, who also lost in the opening round, Stevens is now one point ahead of him.
"That may be the only positive thing about this weekend."
Next up is the re-scheduled O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 7-9, 2005.