Richmond Richie Stevens Sets Record

Stevens sets National Record RICHMOND, Va. (April 30) - Richie "The Kid" Stevens became the quickest Pro Stock driver in National Hot Rod Association history Friday evening at the Fifth Annual Pennzoil Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park...

Stevens sets National Record

RICHMOND, Va. (April 30) - Richie "The Kid" Stevens became the quickest Pro Stock driver in National Hot Rod Association history Friday evening at the Fifth Annual Pennzoil Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park with a stunning pass of 6.861 seconds at 200.08 mph. The mark was immediately deemed official by NHRA representatives because, by rule, it had already been backed-up by Stevens' Round 1 pass of 6.923 seconds at 198.64 mph.

"That felt absolutely perfect," said Stevens, who drives the Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird. "The car went straight all the way down the track. It's almost unbelievable. I've always said that it would be hard to tell the difference between a 6.90-second pass at 199 mph compared to a 6.85 or, in this case a 6.84-second pass at 200 mph. But I actually could tell. I knew the split second I went through the timers that it was a very, very fast run and I was right. It pulled all the way through the lights. It was awesome.

"The Valspar Refinish crew should get all the credit. They have been hard at it all day and for the last week and their hard work paid off big time. The guys were so excited when they came to get me it seemed like I won the World Championship. Everyone was talking at the same time. Like me, they can't believe it. Especially going 200 mph. That's so huge for us."

By surpassing 200 mph, Stevens, who hails from New Orleans, became the eighth member of the Speed-Pro 200 MPH Club. The club has seen its membership double in one day as Stevens and three of his peers recorded 200-plus-mph laps on the day.

Stevens' reign as the quickest man in Pro Stock could be short-lived. Reigning champ Warren Johnson followed his pass with run of 6.843 seconds at 202.24 mph but has yet to back up the time. NHRA rules dictate that a national record elapsed time or speed must be backed-up by another run at the same event that's within one-hundredth of the new mark.

"There goes Warren trying to steal my thunder again," Stevens said with a laugh. "Now I hope it gets real hot tomorrow so that he can't back his time up. No matter what, the entire team will enjoy being the best in the world even if it's just for one day."

Stevens finishes the day in the No. 2 spot of the 29-car qualifying field.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson