STEVENS CLOSES THE BOOK ON 2005 NHRA PRO STOCK SEASON WITH A QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. closed the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season with a quarterfinal-round finish Sunday at the...
STEVENS CLOSES THE BOOK ON 2005 NHRA PRO STOCK SEASON WITH A QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN POMONA
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. closed the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season with a quarterfinal-round finish Sunday at the Automobile Club of Southern California Nationals at Pomona Raceway.
His first-round win against V. Gaines (6.724/204.91 to Gaines' 6.859/178.05) secured the driver of the Team Mopar/Valspar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus R/T eighth in the final NHRA Pro Stock point standings.
In the second round he fell victim to a near-perfect reaction time by Tom Martino (.009), losing that round on a holeshot advantage, despite a quicker pass of 6.743 seconds at 204.17 mph to Martino's slower yet winning 6.750/205.16.
"We qualified No. 7 and started in a good spot," he said. "We knew we needed to go some rounds to pick up points and end up in a good position for the year. We got by the first round and hoped to get past the second round. Unfortunately, Martino threw a double zero light on me."
The cloud cover today played games with Stevens. "Rolling up to the line it was kind of overcast, and I wasn't sure if I should leave my sunglasses on or not. I had been pretty quick all weekend, so I was kind of iffy about taking them off. I left them on, and probably should have taken them off."
Stevens is pleased with his return to the Pro Stock class after putting his career on hold to take care of family business in 2002. "I was hoping to get a win before the season was over, but we finished in the top 10," he said.
"Congratulations to my teammate Jeg Coughlin for winning his first race of the season today. It's a great way for him to end the season. Jeg and I both finished in the top 10 in points, and both qualified for every race, so that's a good thing.
"It's a solid accomplishment for our first year, and I think Don (Schumacher, team owner) is pretty pleased with it. We had a car that could win several times, but didn't get it done. Next year we'll be able to close the deal and get a few wins," he said.
In 2005, Stevens qualified in the top half of the field 13 times, including a pole position at Phoenix. He had two runner-up finishes, one semifinal finish, and reached the quarterfinals seven times. His round win-loss record 1s 15-23 for the year. Career-wise, he has four wins in nine final rounds, two No. 1 qualifiers and a round win-loss record of 83-88.