Phoenix - Collins Cars Make First Runs at Firebird

Collins Cars make first runs at Firebird PHOENIX, Ariz. (Feb 26) -- Blue skies, lots of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70's made for a great day of racing as the first qualifying rounds of the 15th Annual Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals...

Collins Cars make first runs at Firebird

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Feb 26) -- Blue skies, lots of sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70's made for a great day of racing as the first qualifying rounds of the 15th Annual Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals presented by Pennzoil got under way at Firebird International Raceway. The Collins Racing Pro Stock team had mixed reviews as drivers Shawn Collins and Richie "The Kid" Stevens made their first runs.

Here's a recap of each driver's pass from Round 1:

Shawn Collins, the primary driver on the Collins Racing Pro Stock team, driving Mike Thomas' Pennzoil back-up car, ran a qualifying lap of 7.025 seconds at 196.47 mph, which put him in the 11th spot after Round 1.

"The clutch was very soft in the car," said Collins. "That probably helped us to get down the track because the track was pretty oily. For the next round, we'll put some more clutch in the car and get it on down the track. I'm pretty confident we can get this Pennzoil Pontiac Firebird in the field."

Richie "The Kid" Stevens, driver of the Collins Racing Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird failed to qualify in Round 1 due to mechanical problems. Stevens broke a valve lash cap in the engine and shut the car down at the starting line.

"Richie broke a tip of a valve," said Collins, owner of the Collins Racing team. "He shut the car down at the line because it didn't feel right. That shows a lot of experience in the driver because some guys would have gone ahead and run it and really hurt the car.

"The crew is going to change engines and we'll be ready for Round 2. I'm positive we can get both Collins Racing Pro Stock cars in the field".

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas