RICHIE STEVENS JR., DON SCHUMACHER RACING'S TEAM MOPAR/VALSPAR DODGE STRATUS R/T: Richie Stevens Jr. posted four solid qualifying passes in the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T to qualify No. 6 in the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals Pro...
RICHIE STEVENS JR., DON SCHUMACHER RACING'S TEAM MOPAR/VALSPAR DODGE STRATUS
R/T: Richie Stevens Jr. posted four solid qualifying passes in the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T to qualify No. 6 in the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals Pro Stock class.
Stevens' runs included a 6.790-second elapsed time at 202.73 mph (No. 7), his quickest, a 6.749/203.68 (No. 6), a 6.757/203.43 (No. 6 and second quickest to Allen Johnson of that round), and finally a 6.764/204.08 (No. 6).
The duo of Stevens Jr. and Allen Johnson continue to progress to the top of the charts. Johnson placed No. 4.
"We're in. solid. Lane choice. Top half. Opposite sides of the ladder. Everything," said a happy Stevens. "We did good. We had four good runs pretty much. We were probably top five on the sheet every time we ran. We got a consistent car back and both of us made excellent passes today. So, I feel really confident for tomorrow."
As for the strong increase in performance, "We've just been working hard," said Stevens. "Mark's (crew chief Ingersoll) been working hard, just trying to get these cars identical and close to the same as possible. It's coming around now. We did a lot of testing this year. I've probably had more runs down the track in the first quarter of the year than I have in a long time. Just learning things and going over things and trying to make it as easy as pie."
Stevens faces Greg Stanfield in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.
ALLEN JOHNSON, MOPAR/J&J RACING DODGE STRATUS R/T:
Allen Johnson drove the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T to No. 4 in qualifying for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, falling to fourth only in the final session after holding on to the third spot through three rounds.
His quickest lap of 6.740 seconds at 204.17 mph came in Friday night's session. His others included a 6.770/203.28, a 6.744/203.71 (quickest of that round) and 6.774/203.92.
He was pleased with both Dodges' consistency. "That's what we're trying to do, is get the cars consistent, get down the track every run, and get in the top eight in qualifying so you get lane choice on Sunday and give yourself a chance," said Johnson. "That's what we did. The first part of our game plan is done, that's qualifying. Now tomorrow it's just go out there and get up and down the track and cut good lights.
"We just have to continue on this road, just trying to be more consistent and maybe a little conservative, not go for the throat every time. It's working so far."
Johnson will meet Mike Edwards in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.