Pomona II: Team Mopar Saturday notes

STEVENS IS NO. 5 IN POMONA QUALIFYING Richie Stevens Jr. powered the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T into fifth place in Pro Stock qualifying for the Auto Club NHRA Nationals and will face Ron Krisher in Sunday's opening round of ...

STEVENS IS NO. 5 IN POMONA QUALIFYING

Richie Stevens Jr. powered the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T into fifth place in Pro Stock qualifying for the Auto Club NHRA Nationals and will face Ron Krisher in Sunday's opening round of eliminations.

Stevens claimed No. 1 on Friday when he recorded a stout 6.665-second lap at 206.76 mph, but relinquished it today despite posting two more solid passes of 6.666/206.99 and a 6.675/207.02. His initial lap on Thursday produced a 6.694/206.51, good for No. 3 at the time.

"We made four good runs and we have a really good car for tomorrow and I'd like to repeat and do what I did here in 1998 and win the trophy," said Stevens.

"There will be a lot of tough cars out there, and we're hoping some things happen. I don't think A.J. (teammate Allen Johnson, No. 4 in Countdown to One points) still has a shot at the championship, but we've got to run our own race and we're on opposite sides of the ladder, so hopefully we can do some damage tomorrow. We'd like to end the season on a high note.

"We have yet to make it to a final round this season, so hopefully tomorrow is our day and we can get there and get the job done."

A.J. COLLECTS NO. 7 IN POMONA QUALIFYING

Driving the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T, Allen Johnson collected the No. 7 slot in qualifying for the Auto Club NHRA Finals. He will meet Max Naylor in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday, and has conceded that he cannot win the Pro Stock championship.

A.J.'s quickest lap came in today's third session, a 6.669-second elapsed time at 206.86 mph. His other laps were a 6.696/206.23 (No. 5), a 6.678/207.27 and a very strong 6.695/207.21 in the final attempt.

"I guess I'm semi-happy with it," said Johnson. "Never made any really awesome runs. Richie made a really good run that last run. We'll have lane choice tomorrow and there's two hundredths' (of a second) difference between the lanes. Hopefully we can run fast enough first round to keep lane choice for second round and do some damage. We'll run Greg Anderson in second round if we win the first, so maybe we can play a spoiler."

As for the run for the championship, "We're fourth and pretty much done for," said Johnson. "We could move up all the way to second, but to win it is out of reach now."

-credit: mopar/dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Richie Stevens Jr. , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Allen Johnson , Max Naylor