Englishtown: Richie Stevens Jr final preview

STEVENS HAS HICCUP IN SECOND ROUND IN E-TOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 19, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr.'s hopes of delivering his dad Richie Sr. a win for a birthday present on Father's Day disintegrated with a starting-line error in the second...

STEVENS HAS HICCUP IN SECOND ROUND IN E-TOWN

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 19, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr.'s hopes of delivering his dad Richie Sr. a win for a birthday present on Father's Day disintegrated with a starting-line error in the second round of eliminations at the K&N Filters SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J.

The New Orleans native was on a trajectory to his second final round of the year after defeating his teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the first round with a career-best elapsed time of 6.669 seconds and a career-best speed of 206.70 mph.

The 26-year-old Stevens had won twice before at Englishtown and was encouraged by the performance here of the Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus tuned by legendary 10-time Pro Stock champion Bob Glidden. The No. 3 qualifier may have been just a tad too eager, as he double-clutched at the starting line against Larry Morgan, which resulted in a .309 reaction time. Morgan claimed the victory with a 6.719/206.45 (.032 R/T) to Stevens' losing 6.750/206.01.

"It was definitely driver error," said Stevens. "Nothing to do with anybody but me. I was ready. I got there, staged and it took a while for the lights to come down on the tree. I'm not blaming it on that totally, but several other drivers came up to me and told me pretty much the same thing, that it was a long light.

"I still should have been ready. I still should have been on top of things. Larry waited for it, so I can't say that it was anybody else's fault except mine.

"I'll have to swallow it down. It will take a little while.

"I was hoping to do well. We ran real good the first round. I was thinking today might be the day (to win his first race for Don Schumacher Racing), because of how consistently we ran in qualifying and first round. But, leave it up to me to mess it up.

"That's part of it.

"It was a real good run; that's why I was excited about today. We had lane choice going into second round and Larry had run four hundredths slower than us. I pretty much had it in the bag on paper, but like they say, you don't run the race on paper, you run it on race tracks. It didn't work out to my benefit today."

Stevens leaves Englishtown sixth in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock points, 83 out of fifth place.

Next up are the NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill, just outside of St. Louis, Mo., June 24-26, 2005.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Richie Stevens Jr. , Larry Morgan , Bob Glidden , Don Schumacher