RICHIE STEVENS JR., DON SCHUMACHER RACING'S TEAM MOPAR/VALSPAR DODGE STRATUS R/T: SEMIFINAL FINISH FOR STEVENS JR. Richie Stevens Jr. raced the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T to his second semifinal finish of the season today at the...
RICHIE STEVENS JR., DON SCHUMACHER RACING'S TEAM MOPAR/VALSPAR DODGE STRATUS R/T:
SEMIFINAL FINISH FOR STEVENS JR. Richie Stevens Jr. raced the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T to his second semifinal finish of the season today at the ProCare Rx NHRA SuperNationals, defeating Warren Johnson and Larry Morgan along the way.
It was his match-up against former Jeg Coughlin in the semifinal that sent him home.
Stevens, who registered his career quickest and fastest run of 6.598/209.20 to qualify No. 2, beat Warren Johnson with a solid 6.638/208.33, then disposed of Larry Morgan with a 6.650/207.91.
In the semifinal round, Stevens launched first with a .036 reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Coughlin's .059, but a slight wobble at half-track was all it took for Coughlin to take the victory with a 6.651/208.91 to Stevens' 6.684/207.40.
Stevens is back in eighth in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock standings.
"It's what we wanted to do," said Stevens. "Go rounds and get back up in the top eight. It was a close one (over Coughlin). It spun up pretty good down low and got loose out there in the middle and that probably cost us. The lanes were pretty equal all day. We ran good in both lanes. It just maybe got a way from us a little bit in the semis and cost us the win.
"But, overall, not a bad weekend. Allen and I qualified in the top half and went a couple of rounds today and gained some points on some of the other guys. That was what we wanted to come out here and do and we accomplished it. Now we'll move ahead to Norwalk and hopefully take it one round further.
"It would have been nice to beat Jeggie, but that was probably the closest run. We ran almost five hundredths quicker than Warren first round, and Larry had problems of his own second round, so we didn't have a close round until the semis. I thought I had him. I looked over when I put it in high gear and he was nosing out on me. I thought we might have had enough to carry it, but he snuck around us and got there first."
ALLEN JOHNSON, MOPAR/J&J RACING DODGE STRATUS R/T:
A.J. GOES TO QUARTERS IN E-TOWN Allen Johnson used a stellar reaction time of .029 (.000 is perfect) at the ProCare Rx NHRA SuperNationals today to defeat Kurt Johnson in the opening round with a 6.639/207.75 pass to K.J.'s 6.664/208.17, then fell victim to Jeg Coughlin in the second round.
Coughlin took out A.J. by matching A.J.'s first-round reaction time (.029), while A.J. followed with a slower .056. Coughlin crossed the line 11 feet ahead of Johnson, scoring a winning 6.647/208.55 lap to Johnson's 6.655/207.43.
"I didn't do my job very well that round," said a disappointed Johnson. "I had a .056 light, and that was horrible, but Jeggie was on it. They made a good run. It would have been hard to beat. I'd have to have been double-O-something on the tree to beat him. But I can do that, I just haven't been doing that the last couple of races.
"We're making consistent runs. We got to the second round. Going rounds is part of the strategy. Now I'd like to have a break and go another round or two here soon. We're making good runs, good power, and everything is on track.
"The Pro Stock class is not easy by any means. You got to have a break or two, and I just haven't gotten any breaks this year. I've had to earn everything I've done. I didn't do a very good job there to earn it. So, we'll go to the next one and see what happens."
Johnson holds on to fifth in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock point standings.