STEVENS OUTRUN BY TEAMMATE COUGHLIN IN FIRST ROUND IN MEMPHIS MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. still can't get that break he's been looking for in his first season with Don Schumacher Racing. He's qualified the Team ...
STEVENS OUTRUN BY TEAMMATE COUGHLIN IN FIRST ROUND IN MEMPHIS
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. still can't get that break he's been looking for in his first season with Don Schumacher Racing. He's qualified the Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus in the top half of the Pro Stock field eight times so far in 17 races, was low qualifier once and runner-up once, but has also had a string early-round losses against some of the biggest names in NHRA's Pro Stock class.
Those names include reigning two-time Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson, six-time Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson, and Kurt Johnson. Add his teammate and two-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. to that list. With today's loss in the first round against Coughlin, Stevens wasn't able to tie up the pair's win-loss record, which now stands at 1-3 for Stevens.
No. 7 qualifier Stevens had lane choice, but it was Coughlin first at the finish line with a 6.906/200.54 win over Stevens' 6.929/200.83. Coughlin took the victory by .0741 of a second.
"I cannot get a break," said Stevens, who returned this season to Pro Stock after a two-year hiatus to take care of family business while his dad Richie Sr. underwent successful open-heart surgery. "I went up there and left and it just blew the tires off down low and really never recovered after that," he said. "Jeggie made a mediocre run too. He didn't make a great run either. Neither one of us made stellar runs. That's the way it goes.
"We made four good runs in qualifying, so I thought this might be it. Not that we had an easy opponent, but we should have been able to run a better number. It's after the fact, but, being he ran a 6.90, if we would have had a decent run we should have been able to beat him.
"I was a little bit late on the light (.082 to .031), but it didn't matter. It's too bad that we had to race Jeg first round, but at least one of us went to the next round." Coughlin was eliminated in the second round.
Stevens is ninth in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Seris Pro Stock points, 29 behind Coughlin in eighth.
Next on the schedule is the prestigious U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Aug. 31-Sept. 5.