Bristol: Team Koretsky qualifying summary

Team Koretsky Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals Bristol Dragway -- Bristol, Tenn. Qualifying: Richie Stevens Session ...

Team Koretsky
Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals
Bristol Dragway -- Bristol, Tenn.

Qualifying: Richie Stevens
Session #1 Friday: 17.304 seconds at 74.11 mph (# 33)
Session #2 Friday: 6.900 seconds at 199.26 mph (#13)
Session #1 Saturday: 6.926 seconds at 198.90 mph (#13)
Session #2 Saturday: 14.141 seconds at 57.66 mph (#13)

Qualifying: Kenny Koretsky
Session #1 Friday: 6.989 seconds at 198.23 mph (# 25)
Session #2 Friday: 6.939 seconds at 197.80 mph (#26)
Session #1 Saturday: 6.965 seconds at 197.71 mph (#26)
Session #2 Saturday: Did Not Run (#26)

Valspar Refinish and Team Koretsky qualify two cars for the NHRA Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals.

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Nestled in the mountains of northeast Tennessee, on the border between Tennessee and Virginia, sits a spot of land that comes alive when the NHRA and NASCAR racing community visit Thunder Valley.

This weekend it's NHRA's turn as the Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals got underway at Bristol Dragway in the Tri-Cities area (Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City).

On Friday, both Team Koretsky Pro Stock cars, the Valspar Refinish/Snap-On Pontiac Grand Am of Richie "the Kid" Stevens, from New Orleans, and the Valspar Refinish/Cyclo Industries Grand Am of team owner and driver Kenny Koretsky, from Richboro, Pa., began their quest for the 16 available spots allotted to the Pro Stock class.

By the end of Friday's first session you knew that the field was going to be quick. The bump spot was 6.930 seconds, which equaled the prior Pro Stock car elapsed time (E.T.) track record set last year.

When Friday's qualifying ended, the first two of four qualifying sessions, "the Kid" held down the 13th quickest qualifying spot and the bump spot had been lowered to 6.916 seconds. In the cool mountain air's second session, Stevens clicked off a run of 6.900 seconds at 199.26 mph.

Koretsky, while running consistent and fairly quick, was on the outside of the top 16 in the 26th spot. The Pennsylvania driver turned times of 6.989 and 6.939 seconds for his two passes in the Valspar Refinish/Cyclo Industries Grand Am

Both Team Koretsky drivers had two remaining qualifying opportunities on Saturday. Entering the final two qualifying sessions, Troy Coughlin, from Delaware, Ohio, held the provisional pole with an E.T. of 6.853 seconds.

On Saturday, the humidity and temperature began to climb over the readings of yesterday. Stevens still was able to make one of the better runs of Saturday's early session when he clocked a pass of 9.626 seconds at 198.90. Koretsky remained consistent with a trip down the Bristol quarter-mile of 6.965 seconds at 197.71 mph. With one session remaining, neither driver improved their qualify position.

In the final session there was good news and bad news for Stevens. The good news was that he made the field, qualifying his Valspar Refinish/Snap-On Pontiac Grand Am in the 13th overall position. The bad news was that Stevens left a trail of smoke following his car down the track on his final qualifying pass. The culprit was a broken intake valve.

For teammate and team owner Koretsky there was just bad news as his engine was amiss and his Team Koretsky crew made a decision not to run the final session to prevent any additional damage to the engine. Koretsky's Valspar Refinish/Cyclo Industries Grand Am finished the weekend in 26th place.

Stevens will square off against the #4 qualifier Greg Anderson, from Jacksonville, N.C., who qualified with an E.T. of 6.873 seconds. Troy Coughlin held the #1 position as qualifying ended for the Pro Stock cars.

The third Team Koretsky car -- the Pro Mod Valspar Refinish, Bucks County Kawasaki, KPK Motorsports backed Dodge Viper driven by Rickie Smith, from King, N.C. -- finished qualifying in the 6th position and will face Chip King, from Roxboro, N.C., in the opening round of elimination on Sunday.

Smith made the Pro Mod field by recording a pass of 6.290 seconds at 222.62 mph. King finished in third by virtue of a pass of 6.276 seconds at 225.90 mph.

"Two out of three Valspar Refinish/Snap-on Tools/Cyclo Industries cars in the field. That's not bad," said team owner Kenny Koretsky. "The only negatives are: one, I didn't make the field and two, we must rely on one of our back up motors in Richie's car tomorrow. "The Kid" knows how to race on race day so he should be all right. Congratulations to both him and Rickie Smith."


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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Troy Coughlin , Greg Anderson , Kenny Koretsky , Rickie Smith