STEVENS COLLECTS NO. 8 SLOT IN ATLANTA QUALIFYING COMMERCE, GA. (May 14, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. got his wish today and qualified the Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus R/T once again in the top half of the Pro Stock field, in ...
STEVENS COLLECTS NO. 8 SLOT IN ATLANTA QUALIFYING
COMMERCE, GA. (May 14, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. got his wish today and qualified the Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus R/T once again in the top half of the Pro Stock field, in eighth, just as he did two weeks at at Bristol Dragway. He was runner-up there, enjoying lane choice all the way.
With rain threatening, Pro Stock qualifying for the NHRA Southern Nationals was almost cut short, but a break in the weather allowed two full rounds of qualifying to be completed. At one point, it looked like Stevens would have to face his teammate Jeg Coughlin in the first round of eliminations, but that soon changed, and Stevens instead faces Larry Morgan, while Coughlin is matched against Rickie Smith.
Stevens' 6.781/203.89 pass in the last session was his quickest lap of the weekend. "It got us in the top half," said the New Orleans native. "We get to run Larry Morgan in the first round instead of Jeg. I wanted lane choice again. That's where we started in Bristol, maybe it's a good-luck slot.
"We had a problem with the line lock (a device that keeps the car from rolling forward on the starting line) yesterday, It wasn't holding pressure on the starting line and the car kept wanting to roll through the beams. We found the problem this morning and fixed it. We went out there in the first round and everything was fine (6.800/203.89), and luckily we got that little bit of rain, which I think helped the track out for this last session. It cooled it down a little bit, had a little cloud cover, which helped us out. We improved.
"I'm glad we're in the top half and hopefully tomorrow will be a good day."