Pomona Collins Racing Suffers Opening Blues

Collins Racing Suffers Opening Blues POMONA, Calif. (Feb 6) -- Hoping that the third time would be a charm for their newly sponsored team, both Collins Racing drivers failed to qualify of the 39th Annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona ...

Collins Racing Suffers Opening Blues

POMONA, Calif. (Feb 6) -- Hoping that the third time would be a charm for their newly sponsored team, both Collins Racing drivers failed to qualify of the 39th Annual AutoZone Winternationals at Pomona Raceway. Due to suspension and engine problems, the two-car Pro Stock team will make the long journey back to Virginia earlier than expected to prepare for the next National Hot Rod Association event in Phoenix, Ariz., on Feb. 25.

Here's a rundown of each driver's final qualifying lap.

Richie "The Kid" Stevens, hoping to repeat his winning performance from last year's Winston Finals in Pomona, was disappointed when he failed to qualify for this historical event. Stevens ran a lap of 7.025 seconds at 192.74 mph.

"Richie's car still has a miss in it," Collins, Stephens' car owner said. "We changed engines so it has to be a wiring problem inside the car. Before Phoenix we have to re-do the entire car."

Shawn Collins, driver of the No. 1 Collins Racing Pontiac, continued to have suspension problems and ran a final qualifying lap of 7.868 seconds at 111.74 mph and failed to qualify for the season-opening event.

"Just too much clutch," Collins said. "The car can't handle the amount of power we put into it so we continuously over-power the track. I think all these problems will go away once we get the new car. I might run one of Mike Thomas' Pennzoil back-up cars until my new one is ready."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Thomas