Englishtown: Team Koretsky finals summary

Eliminations: Richie Stevens Qualified No. 16: 6.815 seconds at 201.28 mph Round ...

Eliminations: Richie Stevens
Qualified No. 16: 6.815 seconds at 201.28 mph
Round #1: Stevens (6.826/201.79) lost to Jim Yates (6.752/201.79)

Stevens first round casualty but gave Yates all he could handle.

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- On a run of 6.815 seconds at 201.28 Richie "the Kid" Stevens, from New Orleans, driver of the Team Koretsky Pro Stock Pontiac Grand Am, established a career best elapsed time (ET) and speed during qualifying for the NHRA Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions on Saturday.

Matched against number one qualifier Jim Yates, "the Kid" lost a close race, losing by .025 seconds. Stevens took a .049 second advantage at the green light, but the top end power of two-time Pro Stock point champion Yates nipped Stevens' Valspar Refinish/Snap-On Tools Grand Am at the finish line strip.

Yates stats were impressive. He ran a stout elapsed time of 6.752 seconds at a speed of 203.43 mph. No less impressive were Stevens' stats. He covered the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park quarter-mile in 6.826 seconds at 201.79 mph. The speed reestablished the career best speed he set yesterday.

"Anytime you can make it to Sunday that's a big accomplishment in this Pro Stock class," said Stevens. "This track has been good to me in the past and today was no exception, resetting my career best speed and all. But Yates made a really good run too. His was an incredible run out here today.

""We got him off the (starting) line. That's what I needed to do. There was no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If this Valspar Refinish/Snap-On Tools Pontiac was to win, I had to do my job. It got loose out there in the middle, right about half track, and that's probably why we lost it. I was ahead at that time and when that happen he started pulling on me right there. At the finish line I knew he got me by a little bit."

It's back-to-back weekends, the second of three races in a row, for the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Team Koretsky now moves to Topeka for the NHRA O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park. Professional qualifying gets underway on Friday, May 24th, with final eliminations scheduled for Sunday, May 26th.

-tk/kpk-

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