Reading: Richie Stevens Jr preview

Nomadic Stevens looks to maintain momentum in Reading READING, Pa. (Sept. 13, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr., who has been literally on the road since fleeing Hurricane Katrina's wrath on his native New Orleans on Aug. 28, will arrive in Reading,...

Nomadic Stevens looks to maintain momentum in Reading

READING, Pa. (Sept. 13, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr., who has been literally on the road since fleeing Hurricane Katrina's wrath on his native New Orleans on Aug. 28, will arrive in Reading, Pa., on Friday morning after a visit with his teammate Jeg Coughlin and the Jeg's Mail Order family in Columbus, Ohio.

The driver of the Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus R/T in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock division is eager to keep up the momentum he gained at the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day, where he reached his second final round of the year.

He's hoping this weekend's Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway will take his mind away from the destruction of his home in New Orleans he'll have to face when he returns there, while he and his Bob Glidden-led team produce another strong showing.

"I was very pleased with how the weekend went at the U.S. Nationals," says Stevens, "considering all the stuff that had gone on the weekend before. To come into Indy and do as well as we did made me very happy. It definitely picked up the momentum for me a bunch as well as for the team. Hopefully it will carry us through.

"I've done pretty well in Reading in the past," adds Stevens, who did make one 10-hour visit to his parents' home on Lake Pontchartrain before turning around and driving to Atlanta for a Mopar event. "I don't really have a losing record here, but I haven't won anything either.

"The conditions should be cool at night, which should produce some quick numbers. Hopefully, our luck will continue and maybe it will turn around all the way and let us get one more round further."

RICHIE STEVENS JR. QUICK FACTS:

* Seventh in 2005 Pro Stock points after 18 races, reached final round twice, was No. 1 qualifier once

* Joined Don Schumacher Racing after sending in a resume for 2005 season

* Cut short driving career in 2002 to run family business while dad Richie Sr. underwent open-heart surgery

* With dad Richie Stevens Sr. owns Stevens Collision Center in New Orleans

* Born and raised in New Orleans, is 26 years old

* His career-best ET and speed so far: 6.669 ET (Englishtown 2005) and 207.08 mph in Gainesville, Fla., 2005

* Has longtime relationship with associate sponsor Valspar

* Capped off rookie season in 1998 with a victory in his first final-round appearance (Pomona 2)

* Is youngest Pro Stock driver to win a national event, at 20-one month, in 1998

* Has four career wins in eight final rounds, two No. 1 qualifiers to his credit

* In 1999 he became the eighth member of the Speed Pro 200-mph Pro Stock Club with a 200.08 mph run in Richmond, Va.

* Competed in Roy Hill's Pro Mod car in 2004, with a semifinal finish at the U.S. Nationals his best result

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Richie Stevens Jr. , Bob Glidden , Don Schumacher