Houston Doubled Up Valspar Team Friday Report

Doubled up Valspar team off to fast start HOUSTON (Oct. 29) -- For the second race this season the Valspar Corporation has two cars competing at an NHRA national event and, as usual, they are both competitive. Just as he did in Reading, Pa., ...

Doubled up Valspar team off to fast start

HOUSTON (Oct. 29) -- For the second race this season the Valspar Corporation has two cars competing at an NHRA national event and, as usual, they are both competitive. Just as he did in Reading, Pa., Pro Stock veteran Don Beverly has re-joined Richie "The Kid" Stevens on the track in the back-up Valspar Pontiac Firebird giving the team twice as much information as they battle for the Matco Tools SuperNationals title.

"Don's helping us get this car ready for competition," Stevens said. "He knows a lot about Pro Stock racing and his input really helps. It's also nice to be able to share information. When he runs ahead of me he radios back what rpm he left the starting line at and how the car handled. We can then make adjustments that help us go faster. If I'm out front, I do the same for him. Having a teammate really helps."

Stevens used the data he gained to finish in the No. 11 spot in the Day 1 qualifying field. His best time came in Round 2 when he tripped the timers in 6.930 seconds at 198.28 mph.

"That was one heck of a squirrelly run," Stevens said about his swaying pass in the second session. "If I had just gone straight we'd be right in the thick of things. Obviously, there was something goofy about that lane because everyone was all over the place on that side. When you see every single car have trouble then you know it's not your fault.

"I stayed with it because I wanted to put a competitive time up on the board. I think we can go faster tomorrow but you never know what the weather is going to do. The good news is that I know we have the power to run with anybody here."

Stevens started the day strong, running a 6.931-second pass at 198.61 mph to initially grab the No. 5 spot. "That was a great way to kick off the weekend," Stevens said. "If you look at the data on the computer that was actually an ugly run. But since the result was so good we really started with a good feeling about this race. The main problem was tire spin in first, second, and third gear. After that she hooked up and ran the back half strong."

Beverly opened with a 7.018-second pass at 196.67 mph and could not improve on that time in the evening session. He finished the day in the 26 spot out of 35 competitors.

"The car left strong both times," Beverly said. "I just had a tough time keeping it in the groove. I would have driven a little farther down the track (in Round 2) but my daughter was watching and I didn't want to scare her. I'd love to get in the field and play blocker for Richie. If I can knock some people out that are chasing him I'd be real happy."

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Series NHRA