RICHIE STEVENS JR., DON SCHUMACHER RACING'S TEAM MOPAR/VALSPAR DODGE STRATUS R/T: It was another stellar qualifying effort for Team Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing driver Richie Stevens Jr. at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Stevens...
RICHIE STEVENS JR., DON SCHUMACHER RACING'S TEAM MOPAR/VALSPAR DODGE STRATUS R/T:
It was another stellar qualifying effort for Team Mopar and Don Schumacher Racing driver Richie Stevens Jr. at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Stevens seized the No. 2 spot in the second qualifying session on Friday with a run of 6.659/206.04 in his Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T. The mark held through two qualifying sessions today, putting Stevens in the second qualifying spot for the second consecutive event.
"We've got a real good car right now. We qualified No. 2 at Englishtown and we did the same thing here," said Stevens. "We're happy with that, and Allen [Johnson, Stevens' teammate] is right behind us at No. 3.
"We're going into tomorrow hoping to go some rounds again. When you've got a car that's running as well as this one, it makes me more confident. I don't have to worry about what's going to happen with the car.
"The Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge has been real, real consistent. Hopefully I can do my job tomorrow, go some rounds, and go one round further than I did last week [Stevens had a semifinals finish last week at Englishtown].
"The track is pretty good," said Stevens about Summit Motorsports Park, a new stop for the NHRA POWERade circuit but one that Stevens competed on in his IHRA days. "The track has been good to me in the past, and hopefully it will be good to me tomorrow. And the crowds here have been huge. I can't believe the amount of people that are here."
Stevens faces the HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus R/T of Larry Morgan in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.
ALLEN JOHNSON, MOPAR/J&J RACING DODGE STRATUS R/T:
Qualifying in the top half of the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock field is the key to earning crucial round wins, according to Allen Johnson, driver of the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T. And that's just what Johnson did at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, taking the No. 3 qualifying spot with a pass of 6.660/205.75, putting him in position for a deep run in tomorrow's eliminations.
Johnson was ninth in qualifying with a 6.703/205.38 after the first Friday qualifying session. He moved up to the third spot in the second Friday session, and maintained the position throughout today's qualifying rounds.
"This is probably the best that we have qualified together all year," Johnson said of himself and teammate Richie Stevens Jr., the No. 2 qualifier. "It should put us in pretty good position for the first round.
"I didn't make a very good pass on that last qualifying run. That concerns me because it was under race conditions. Richie made a good last run, so I think we can take the data off of his car. We should be in pretty good shape for tomorrow.
"We kept the consistency, we're in the top half, and hopefully we will go out there and win first round."
Allen Johnson faces Jim Yates in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.