Reading: Richie Stevens Jr final summary

Stevens loses first round in Reading by a foot READING, Pa. (Sept. 18, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. just can't get a break, he said today after losing another close first-round contest of an NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock event. No....

Stevens loses first round in Reading by a foot

READING, Pa. (Sept. 18, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. just can't get a break, he said today after losing another close first-round contest of an NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock event.

No. 12 qualifier Stevens, who was runner-up at the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day, faced a strong opponent today in Jim Yates, who was the eventual runner-up in the final round against Greg Anderson.

Stevens cut an outstanding reaction time, a .013 (.000 is perfect) against Yates' .030, but it wasn't enough to take him to the finish line first, as Yates ran him down, taking the victory by a margin of a mere 12 inches.

Stevens did his best with a 6.752/204.60 pass, but Yates outran him with a 6.732/204.70.

"No matter what I do, whoever I run," rued Stevens, "it seems like they pull out the best light they could ever pull. I thought I was pretty good on the tree, and I was, and he just came up with a light that was decent and outran us.

"He ran a 6.73, we ran a 6.75. We should have run a little quicker. If I had the run that (teammate) Jeg Coughlin ran (6.734/205.10, .019 R/T) we would have won.

"That's the way it goes. We were here on Sunday and had an open door. I needed to stay alive in points and stay ahead. I had to try to stay alive to keep in the top 10, but this is definitely going to hurt a little bit points-wise.

"It's one of those days. I did everything I could do. We made a decent run, we should have run quicker. You look at the graph and the run looks pretty good.

"We hurt our good engine yesterday, we had to put in this one. It's a back up and probably not as good. It's not far off, but we probably needed another run to dial it in. I think if we could have had another run with it, we probably could have made it run a little better."

Stevens is eighth in the Pro Stock point standings, 222 away from a top-five placement.

As for his plans to return to his native New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina's destruction? "From here I'm going back to Ohio and stay with Jeg (Coughlin)," Stevens said. "Fly out of here, fly back to Ohio, fly to Dallas on Thursday or Friday.

"I can't really go home yet. I'll wait until after Chicago to go home. I'll hang out in Ohio a little bit and try to get some things straight before I get back home and get caught up in all of that mess there. I'll try to handle whatever I can on the computer and the phone while I got the chance to do it."

Next on the schedule is the O'Reilly NHRA Nationals, Sept. 23-25, 2005.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Richie Stevens Jr. , Greg Anderson