RICHIE STEVENS JR., DON SCHUMACHER RACING'S TEAM MOPAR/VALSPAR DODGE STRATUS R/T: Richie Stevens Jr. qualified the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T in No. 6 for the third straight race today at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern ...
RICHIE STEVENS JR., DON SCHUMACHER RACING'S TEAM MOPAR/VALSPAR DODGE STRATUS R/T:
Richie Stevens Jr. qualified the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T in No. 6 for the third straight race today at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals. Driving an all-new Rick Jones-built car this weekend, Stevens posted his quickest lap, a 6.659-second effort at 206.51 mph, in the Friday evening session.
His other laps included a 6.696/205.76, a 6.681/206.39, and a 6.712/206.20 in the final qualifying round, in the less desirable left lane.
"That left lane balled up there real bad and we just blew the tires off it in the last hit," said Stevens. "But we're real happy with the new Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge. We tested real well early this week in St. Louis and came out here and went down the track all four runs and qualified in the top half. That's a good thing going in tomorrow, because obviously the left lane is not too great out there. So, we'll probably be in the right lane come first round and we got old Jim Yates. We took him out earlier this year and hopefully we'll take him out again.
"Rick Jones gave us a good car. It's been flawless since we got it. I don't want to jinx it, but I think it's going to be a good one. I think once we get to working on it for tomorrow it will be where it needs to be. Not that it's not there yet, but it's pretty damned close."
As mentioned, Stevens faces Jim Yates in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.
ALLEN JOHNSON, MOPAR/J&J RACING DODGE STRATUS R/T:
Allen Johnson powered the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T to a No. 2 qualifying spot today at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, his second No. 2 of the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
He recorded his quickest pass in the Friday evening session, a 6.640-second lap at 206.61 mph. His other laps were a 6.702/205.54, a 6.665/206.67 and a 6.700/205.91.
Johnson made one final attempt to take his first pole position of the season in the last session, but it came in the less desirable left lane. Greg Anderson claimed No. 1 with a 6.627/208.30.
"Yeah, we were going for it a little bit," Johnson said of his final pass. "We accomplished our plan again, week in, week out the last three weeks: top eight, get lane choice. Hopefully we'll go a couple of rounds tomorrow.
"We're not as fast as the Summit cars (Anderson and Jason Line), but we're pretty close. There are about six of us who can win this race tomorrow, and Richie and I are two of them."
Johnson faces Warren Johnson (no relation) in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.