STEVENS HAS TOUGH DRAW IN BRAINERD FIRST ROUND BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 13, 2006) - No. 16 qualifier Richie Stevens Jr. faced a tough task today when he matched up against reigning three-time Pro Stock champion and No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson in...
STEVENS HAS TOUGH DRAW IN BRAINERD FIRST ROUND
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 13, 2006) - No. 16 qualifier Richie Stevens Jr. faced a tough task today when he matched up against reigning three-time Pro Stock champion and No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson in the opening round of Pro Stock eliminations at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. An upset was not in store for the driver of the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T, as Anderson led from start to finish, winning the contest with a 6.769-second pass at 203.95 mph to Stevens' 6.820/202.94.
Stevens was banking on getting an advantage at the start, ticking off an excellent reaction time of .033 of a second (.000 is perfect), but Anderson was a tad quicker with a .022. "I didn't think he would be that good off the starting line," said Stevens. "I went up there and went into the box first. He knows I usually go in second, so I went in first to try and throw him off. It didn't work, and he left us from the start and ran away with it.
"Coming from the 16th spot is tough, even in Pro Stock, where people seem to be able to win from anywhere," offered Stevens. "We didn't really make a good run either; it shook pretty hard up top.
"We slipped up a bit this weekend, and really didn't make any good runs. The first run Friday (6.792/202.97) was the cleanest run we made by looking at the computer, even though the Saturday morning session (6.785/203.00) was quicker.
"We are going to have to do something to get this turned around. We were heading in the right direction, and now we will fall back out of the top 10 (in points). David (Nickens, crew chief/engine builder) is going to take the motors back to the engine shop in Houston to put them on the dyno and see what's going on. Hopefully, we'll get it all fixed quickly and get this Mopar headed back in the right direction."
Stevens is currently 11th in points, only eight markers behind Greg Stanfield.
Next up for Stevens is the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park, Aug. 18-20.