STEVENS TAKES FIFTH QUALIFYING SPOT IN ST. LOUIS MADISON, Ill. (June 25, 2005) - The Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus that Richie Stevens Jr. drives for Don Schumacher Racing hit all its marks in Pro Stock qualifying this weekend...
STEVENS TAKES FIFTH QUALIFYING SPOT IN ST. LOUIS
MADISON, Ill. (June 25, 2005) - The Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus that Richie Stevens Jr. drives for Don Schumacher Racing hit all its marks in Pro Stock qualifying this weekend for the NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, qualifying in the top half in each round and finally ending up in No. 5.
Stevens' 6.772-second ET at 203.43 mph in the last pass was his quickest of the weekend, and it followed a series of strong runs: 6.839/202.58 in the first session (No. 7 qualifier); 6.781/202.91 in the second (No. 5 qualifier) and 6.809/202.88 in the third (No. 6 qualifier).
The first and third rounds were in the near 100-degree heat, while the other two night sessions were under cooler conditions.
"That was good. We needed that," said Stevens, "especially after coming into the last session having been bumped down a couple of spots. But we made a really nice run. It was in the better lane, which is the left, we got a top-half spot for tomorrow, and we have lane choice. That is definitely going to help out here because the left lane is definitely the preferred lane.
"Lane choice seems to be really important here," said Stevens, whose last pass was the third quickest ET of the session. "Hopefully we'll go up there, do our job and go to the second round.
"The heat today was pretty bad as well as in yesterday's first round. The two night sessions were obviously the better two sessions of the weekend. Tomorrow it will be hot when we run the first round; it will be like running during the day. We ran pretty good yesterday on the first lap, so I think we have the setup during the day for the heat. It should go right down the track, like it did tonight."
Stevens will face Greg Stanfield in first round of eliminations on Sunday.