INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 4) â€“ Pro Stock driver Richie â€œThe Kidâ€ Stevensâ€™ run at the 46th annual U.S. Nationals finished in the quarterfinal round. While a single elimination round win and a top-half qualifying berth might normally rate as just...
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 4) – Pro Stock driver Richie “The Kid” Stevens’ run at the 46th annual U.S. Nationals finished in the quarterfinal round. While a single elimination round win and a top-half qualifying berth might normally rate as just an average race weekend for the perennial top 10 points earner, once the Valspar Refinish-sponsored pro considered the magnitude of this race he was visibly pleased with his results.
“This is the biggest race in drag racing,” Stevens said. “There were more cars competing here then we’ll see anywhere we go. For us to come in here as a third-year team, qualify as strong as we did, and actually win a round on Race Day is pretty darn good. I’m happy. Of course we would have loved to win, but we made enough progress that my confidence is very, very high.”
Stevens qualified in the No. 7 position with a 6.998-second lap at 195.34 mph. He was one of just seven drivers to record sub-seven second passes during all five rounds of qualifying. In eliminations, Stevens took advantage of cooler temperatures to run a 6.960 at 195.65 mph in an opening round win over Tom Martino. He was quick again in Round 2, running a weekend-best pass of 6.953 at 166.13 mph but he couldn’t beat the stellar pass of eventual runner-up Ron Krisher, who had a 6.929 at 196.76 mph.
“We got crushed by Krisher,” Stevens said. “It’s that simple. For that round he had the better car and that’s why he won. We made a great run, our best of the weekend, but he just ran quicker. Even if I had run the perfect lap that time I think he would have won.
“The thing that has me so pumped up is that our car is running consistently again and our motor is really strong. I also feel like I drove the car pretty well all weekend. I’m anxious to get back after it next weekend.”
The next event on the NHRA schedule is the rescheduled elimination rounds of the Matco Tools SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., which will take place Saturday. Stevens has already qualified for the rain-delayed race in the No. 2 position with a career-best lap of 6.840 seconds at 200.23 mph.
Stevens elimination round win today in Indianapolis lifted him to seventh place in the Winston championship points standings.