STEVENS JR. AIMS FOR THE TOP IN PHOENIX PHOENIX (Feb. 21, 2006) - Don Schumacher Racing Pro Stocker Richie Stevens Jr. is determined to take his Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T into the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series winner's circle this...
STEVENS JR. AIMS FOR THE TOP IN PHOENIX
PHOENIX (Feb. 21, 2006) - Don Schumacher Racing Pro Stocker Richie Stevens Jr. is determined to take his Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T into the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series winner's circle this year, and he feels this weekend's Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird International Raceway is as good a place as any. This is where he qualified No. 1 last season in only his second race for DSR.
The Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge has been running strong of late because of a new Mopar engine block and the hard work of his tuner, 10-time Pro Stock champion and legend Bob Glidden. Stevens qualified seventh at the season-opening event at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.) and, despite a first-round upset on a holeshot, he is confident heading into Phoenix. "We had a very good car in Pomona, and there is still a lot more left in it," said the New Orleans native. "There is a lot of promise in the car, in the engine and in myself. Hopefully we can get all three going together."
Last year in Phoenix, after qualifying on the pole and defeating Erica Enders in the opening round, he fell victim to his then teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the quarterfinals. "I have another year under my belt coming into Phoenix this weekend," Stevens said. "That gives me a good feeling coming into this race.
"I'd like to come out this weekend and make everyone's heads turn. People know we have the power, and now we have to let them know we are for real. I want to go out there and qualify on the pole and then win the race. I feel like we are in a position to do that."
Stevens is also focusing on getting his new teammate's car into the field and running strong: "We need to get Shaun (Carlson) in the field so we have both cars to work off of. That worked well last year with Jeggie (Coughlin Jr.). We usually had one car to use a baseline set-up off of."