Dallas: Another solid race for Rishie Stevens

DALLAS (May 28) --Pro Stock driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens had another solid outing this weekend at the Texas Motorplex. He drove his competitive Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird into the second round of the fourth annual Castrol Nationals ...

DALLAS (May 28) --Pro Stock driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens had another solid outing this weekend at the Texas Motorplex. He drove his competitive Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird into the second round of the fourth annual Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts before bowing out to veteran driver V. Gaines. The finish, combined with Stevens' stellar qualifying effort, kept Team Valspar in the seventh position in the Winston championship points standings.

"Overall I'm pretty happy with the weekend," Stevens said. "We always want to win the race and when you don't win you're always a little bummed out. But there are a bunch of cars here and only one winner so you have to try and do the best you can and earn as many points as possible and move on.

"We stayed where we were in the Winston points and actually gained ground on three of the guys ahead of us thanks to our good qualifying pass. Every point counts and by the time November gets here the points we're earning now will really add up."

Stevens qualified in the No. 5 position with a 7.013-second pass at 196.03 mph, pulling off the incredible lap in the fourth and final qualifying session. He then dismissed Kenny Koretsky in the opening round of today's action with a 7.009-second lap at 196.07 mph against Koretsky's 7.048-second run at 196.24 mph.

Unfortunately, Stevens stellar elapsed time in his first-round win was .002 seconds slower than the pass Gaines logged in his Round 1 victory over Tom Martino, which awarded Gaines lane choice over Stevens in the quarterfinals. The margin ended up being the difference in Round 2 as Gaines choose the one good lane and easily overcame Stevens' .448-second start, winning in 7.029 seconds over Stevens' tire-spinning 7.096-second lap.

"The sun and the heat really hurt that left side," Stevens said. "It was terrible. Every gear we were shaking and spinning and slipping. There was nothing I could do. The right lane ended up being a guaranteed win. If we raced down two identical lanes, I would have won by a car length. That's no slam on V., it's just the way it was out there.

"We'll be right back on the racetrack by Friday in Chicago so we'll have another chance to move on up in the points very soon. We're running the Dominator Duel there also so we'll have two chances to put Valspar in the winner's circle."

The elimination rounds of the fourth annual Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts will air from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET and PT), today on TNN.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Koretsky , Tom Martino