Dallas Third Session a Sweet One for Stevens

Third session a sweet one for Stevens DALLAS (April 24) -- Thick cloud cover and cooler temperatures helped make Saturday morning's third round of qualifying for the Lone Star Nationals the best session of the weekend so far. The ...

Third session a sweet one for Stevens

DALLAS (April 24) -- Thick cloud cover and cooler temperatures helped make Saturday morning's third round of qualifying for the Lone Star Nationals the best session of the weekend so far. The naturally-aspirated engines of the professional drag racing's Pro Stock class really responded to the improved climate with most of the drivers recording much better elapsed times and top speeds.

Richie "The Kid" Stevens, the driver of the Valspar Refinish Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, took full advantage of the conditions and was able to cover the quarter-mile strip in 6.979 seconds at 197.67 mph. The time was a marked improvement over his previously posted time of 7.053 seconds and kept the 20-year-old from New Orleans in the top half of the field in the No. 8 spot.

"We jumped up eight-hundredths of a second and it turned out that we needed every bit of it to stay in the top half of the field," Stevens said. "We have to hold onto that lane choice advantage. The car's running great and that was a pretty smooth run that time so we're feeling good.

"I think we might all have a chance to move up again in Round 4. They have us scheduled to run after the Top Fuel and Funny Cars and those guys have been taking a long time to get through their sessions. So we might not be running until 6:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. in which case, we should really be able to fly.

"The later we run, the better I'll like it. I know we're in the top half of the field and that if we have another fast session then I could get bumped down, but I'm willing to take that chance. If everyone else is moving up, I feel pretty confident that we will too. I'd like to move higher up then where we're at now. The higher you are, the easier it can be on race day. No matter what, this Valspar car will be ready to go."

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Series NHRA