Columbus: Richie Stevens Jr preview

STEVENS SEEKS GOOD RESULTS IN TEAMMATE'S HOMETOWN HEBRON, Ohio (May 19, 2005) - Don Schumacher Racing teammates Richie Stevens Jr. and Jeg Coughlin Jr. are tied in eighth position in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock point standings...

STEVENS SEEKS GOOD RESULTS IN TEAMMATE'S HOMETOWN

HEBRON, Ohio (May 19, 2005) - Don Schumacher Racing teammates Richie Stevens Jr. and Jeg Coughlin Jr. are tied in eighth position in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock point standings as the series travels to National Trail Raceway this weekend. This track is just outside of Columbus, Ohio, Coughlin's hometown, and hosts the eighth round of the 23-event schedule and the second of three back-to-back events.

"This is Jeggie's home race and we'd like to show well here, now that we're teammates," said Stevens, who's a New Orleans native and is driving the Bob Glidden-tuned Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T in his first season with DSR.

Stevens, who was runner-up in Bristol, Tenn., on May 1, was bitten by the weather conditions last weekend at Atlanta Dragway, losing in the first round after the rain showers cleared. Although he had lane choice as the No. 8 qualifier, he was in the first pairing to go down the quarter-mile after the track was dried, and feels he may have selected the wrong lane for the conditions.

"We'd like to get past first round this weekend," he laughed. "We qualified really well in Atlanta. I'm happy any time we get in the top half. We had four good runs during qualifying, but on Sunday we just chose the wrong lane. We had lane choice, but we were the first pair down and we didn't really get a chance to watch any other Pro Stock cars run before us. We just picked the wrong one.

"Our first goal here is, of course, to qualify again where we did, or hopefully a couple of spots higher, so we can watch a couple of cars go down the track before we choose the lane we do go in."

There are a number of factors that could have contributed to his squirrelly pass in Atlanta, Stevens admits. "Even where the car was lined up could have made a difference. We could have been off on that. It might have been too much clutch. We might have been able to make it down that lane if we had been a little bit lighter on the clutch. But it all comes down to being the first pair out. You don't have any run to judge off of, so you kind of take a shot at making those decisions.

"The weather looks good for this weekend, and the cooler temperatures should put some good numbers on the board. This has not been a bad track for me," added Stevens, who cut short his Pro Stock driving career in 2002 to take care of his family business while his dad Richie Sr. underwent successful heart surgery. He sent in an application to DSR and was selected by Don Schumacher to drive one of his Pro Stock cars this season.

"I'm looking forward to it; hopefully we can have a good showing here and move up further in the top 10 in points."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Bob Glidden , Don Schumacher