Valspar car primed for Sunday run DALLAS (April 24) -- With four rounds of professional qualifying completed, the field for the Third Annual Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts was set Saturday evening at the Texas Motorplex.
Valspar car primed for Sunday run
DALLAS (April 24) -- With four rounds of professional qualifying completed, the field for the Third Annual Castrol Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts was set Saturday evening at the Texas Motorplex. Under cloudy skies and the constant threat of rain, the best drivers of the National Hot Rod Association successfully dodged any inclement weather and instead thrilled the fans filling the stands of this historically quick track.
As the dust settled, one of the top contenders emerging from the Pro Stock bracket was New Orleans native Richie "The Kid" Stevens, the driver of the Valspar Refinish Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird. The 20-year-old managed to post increasingly quicker times in each of Friday and Saturday's four qualifying rounds, finally posting a 6.968-second lap at 197.36 mph to take the No. 8 spot in the field.
"I couldn't ask for much more out of my car or this Valspar team," Stevens said. "Everything just keeps getting better every time we go down the track. That last run was definitely the best of the weekend. It was so smooth even when the track got a little loose out there in the middle. Hopefully we'll continue this trend of going quicker every round when the real racing starts tomorrow."
Stevens will open the elimination rounds against Steve Schmidt, who qualified in the ninth position with a run of 6.979 seconds at 197.88 mph. By virtue of his quicker qualifying time, Stevens will have the advantage of lane choice over Schmidt.
"It's extremely important for us to be in the top half of the field," Stevens said. "That could make a big difference come tomorrow. It's hard to tell which lane we'll pick. For all we know right now it will rain all night and wash this track clean. That could change our decision-making process. Either way, I'm glad we have lane choice even if it's just for the mental edge it gives you.
"I'd love to win this race and it could happen tomorrow. The car is there and I've been driving pretty well. It probably wouldn't hurt to have a little luck also. I know it will be very tough to get through the field, but it's always that way. Right now, I like our chances."