Houston Richie Stevens Continues to Improve

Stevens continues to improve HOUSTON (April 10) - Elapsed times were dropping at a furious pace during the third round of qualifying Saturday morning at Houston Raceway Park as the world's quickest drivers continued their quest for the title of...

Stevens continues to improve

HOUSTON (April 10) - Elapsed times were dropping at a furious pace during the third round of qualifying Saturday morning at Houston Raceway Park as the world's quickest drivers continued their quest for the title of the 12th Annual O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil.

For the third straight qualifying session Richie "The Kid" Stevens, the driver of the Valspar Refinish Pro Stock Pontiac Firebird, managed to improve on his previously posted time. Round 3 saw the 20-year-old New Orleans native blast down the strip in 6.971 seconds at 197.45 mph. The mark puts Stevens into the No. 13 spot with one qualifying round remaining.

"That was an okay run but to be honest with you, we were hoping for more," Stevens said. "I messed up a little by not shifting into second gear soon enough. That just knocked the breath right out of that run. We still ran a nice lap but I just wanted more because it was a very fast session and everyone was running quicker times.

"Being the last pair out really hurt because the clouds blew away and it started getting hot. Then the track started going away. The good news is that we're at the back of the pack again tonight when the sun will be setting so hopefully it'll get cooler as the round goes along and it'll get faster and faster. I'm excited about tonight. It's like we're saving the best for last."

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Series NHRA