Reading Mark Pawuk, Richie Stevens Final Round

READING, Penn. (Sept. 19) -- Pro Stock driver Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk ended the championship aspirations of Richie "The Kid" Stevens in Sunday's quarterfinal round of elimination racing at the 15th annual True Value Keystone Nationals. Following the...

READING, Penn. (Sept. 19) -- Pro Stock driver Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk ended the championship aspirations of Richie "The Kid" Stevens in Sunday's quarterfinal round of elimination racing at the 15th annual True Value Keystone Nationals.

Following the trend he set in a first round win over Bruce Allen, the 20-year-old Stevens got the early jump on Pawuk, leaving the lights with a .432-second reaction time against Pawuk's .461-second start. But the Bath, Ohio, resident caught and passed Stevens' Valspar Refinish machine right at the finish line, winning the race by three-thousandths of a second.

"That was a close one," Stevens said. "I really couldn't tell who won in the car. It was that close. I knew I had him at the light but I could feel that he was over there all the way down.

"Mark made good consistent runs all weekend in that car of his. It's a case of him having the right set-up for this track. And maybe he had little more power than us also. It's a credit to his experience that he was able to figure this tricky track out quicker than we did."

The final numbers saw Pawuk cross the timers in 6.951 seconds at 197.67 mph with Stevens right next door at 6.983 seconds at 196.63 mph.

"This was still a real nice weekend for us," Stevens said. "We were able to get qualified and we went a round on Sunday. That's a pretty good outing. If we just do what we did this weekend, we'll finish in the top five of the points standings for sure. What I'd like to do is go to a few semifinals and win another race or two and finish in the top three. We've got five more races to make some noise."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mark Pawuk , Bruce Allen