Englishtown Richie Stevens Friday report

Stevens streaks into No. 2 spot ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 21) -- Twenty-year-old drag racing sensation Richie "The Kid" Stevens drove his Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird into the No. 2 spot of the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class during Friday...

Stevens streaks into No. 2 spot

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 21) -- Twenty-year-old drag racing sensation Richie "The Kid" Stevens drove his Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird into the No. 2 spot of the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class during Friday night's second session of professional qualifying for the 30th Annual Mopar Parts Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

Stevens, who has finished as runner-up in the last two National Hot Rod Association events, took advantage of the cooler nighttime temperatures and posted an astonishing lap of 6.893 seconds at 199.32 mph.

"This sure gives me a lot of confidence heading into tomorrow's Dominator Duel," said Stevens, who will open against Mike Thomas in Round 1 of the Duel. "I watched WJ (Warren Johnson) go straight down our lane right in front of me and he posted an awesome time so I knew we could post a good time also if I did everything right.

"The car was pretty close to perfect. It was real straight again, which means we took the shortest route to the finish line. No swerving around and scrubbing off any speed. At most I left maybe one-hundredth of a second in that lap.

"If I can get the car to go straight then I know I've done my part right. The other part of a great run is (crew chief) Tommy (Utt) getting the car to hook-up to the track. That time, we both did our jobs."

Stevens had opened the day with a respectable 6.963-second pass at 198.50 mph in the first session. The mark had placed Stevens in the No. 3 spot in the field.

"Our first run was pretty nice," Stevens said. "The Valspar car spun a little at the starting line but after about the 100-foot mark it hooked up and went straight down the track. It was a good baseline run and it provided us with a lot of data that we can use.

"This track appears to be one of those tracks that will get better and better every session. Especially after the fuel cars get out there and put some more fresh rubber down. I'm looking for some big things this weekend so I hope we continue to run well like we have been. I'm also real happy that we ran fast in both lanes because I don't know which side I'll be on in the morning."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas , Warren Johnson