Seattle: Richie Stevens Jr preview

SEATTLE WINNER IN 2000, STEVENS LOOKS TO REPEAT KENT, Wash. (July 20, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. has four Pro Stock victories in his career, and he can count the 2000 CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways among them. He'd like...

SEATTLE WINNER IN 2000, STEVENS LOOKS TO REPEAT

KENT, Wash. (July 20, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. has four Pro Stock victories in his career, and he can count the 2000 CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways among them. He'd like to repeat at this weekend's event.

He remembers that win vividly, as he defeated his now teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr., against whom he has a 1-2 round win-loss record in both drivers' first season with Don Schumacher Racing this year.

"It was a good race," recalled the driver of the Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus. "It was actually kind of funny. We went to Denver and we didn't qualify there. We went to Seattle and we qualified and won the race. We went next to Sonoma and didn't qualify there. So, we went from zero to hero to zero. We beat Jeg. I remember he got a little loose and shut down in the final.

"It was a nice win for us, because we were hoping to go into the Western Swing and do well. It came at a good time and hopefully we can get another one this weekend. It would be nice to win after losing two straight first rounds at the last two races.

"Seattle has always been nice. Even before I won here I liked coming up here. It's a different setting, with all the trees, the location of it. The people here have always been nice. And it's one I always liked going to, especially after I won."

Coming off the altitude of the Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver is also a plus. He lost to Coughlin in first round of eliminations there. "We'll be back to running decent numbers like we're used to. We'll be back in the 6-second range rather than the 7s. You always like to go as fast as you can, so hopefully we'll get a cool run, maybe in that Friday night qualifying session, and be able to dip down in the low 6s and get the car in the field and qualify. And hopefully we won't have to run Jeg in the first round again on Sunday."

SCHEDULE: On Friday, July 22, pro qualifying sessions are at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, July 23, pro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. (Pro Stock), noon (TF, FC); and 3 p.m. (all classes). On Sunday, July 24, pre-race ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

TELEVISION: On Saturday, July 23, ESPN HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 8 p.m. (ET). On Sunday, July 24, ESPN2 HD will televise three hours of eliminations at 9 p.m. (ET). On Sunday, July 24, ESPN2 HD will televise NHRA 2Day, a 30-minute magazine show at 11:30 a.m. (ET).

RICHIE STEVENS JR. QUICK FACTS:

* Sixth in 2005 Pro Stock points after 13 races, reached final round once, 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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Series NHRA
Drivers Richie Stevens Jr. , Don Schumacher