Dallas Richie Stevens Round Two Report

'Kid' climbs up ladder in second session DALLAS (April 23) - The record-breaking elapsed times the organizers of the Third Annual Lone Star Nationals were hoping to see never materialized during Friday's opening day of qualifying at the ...

'Kid' climbs up ladder in second session

DALLAS (April 23) - The record-breaking elapsed times the organizers of the Third Annual Lone Star Nationals were hoping to see never materialized during Friday's opening day of qualifying at the Texas Motorplex. Instead, tricky track conditions and above-average temperatures combined to slightly slow the world's fastest drivers and their sleek machines.

Despite the lack of fireworks, every team managed to make their mark during Rounds 1 and 2 and they all appear eager to better their positions during the two additional qualifying chances that they'll have on Saturday.

The Valspar Refinish Pro Stock team of driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens started the day with an aborted pass in the oily right-hand lane but quickly got back on track in the evening session when the 20-year-old from New Orleans posted a 7.053-second lap at 195.31 mph. The improvement vaulted Stevens from 20th place in the standings to the seventh spot on the qualifying ladder.

"Everything went right this evening," Stevens said. "The air was thick and the track was hot, which kept us from posting those big numbers that everyone wanted to see. But we still ran a real nice lap and we're all happy in the Valspar pit.

"I actually robbed myself of some elapsed time in Round 2 by shifting sooner than I needed to between first and second gear. And the clutch was slightly lighter than it needed to be because we were playing it safe. But we're comfortably in the show now which was our main goal for the day.

"Of course, if we get a front that changes up the weather then the entire field could change tomorrow. Either way, the Valspar crew will have my car ready to go. We're the third pair in the morning so the track might be nice and cool. We're definitely ready to go faster if we get the chance. I just want to make sure we stay in the top half of the field. Lane choice could be the difference between winning and losing on Sunday."

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Series NHRA