Reading: Team Mopar Saturday notes

STEVENS STARTS 11TH IN READING Richie Stevens Jr. drove the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T into the 11th Pro Stock qualifying position for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. In today's first session, Stevens set his ...

STEVENS STARTS 11TH IN READING

Richie Stevens Jr. drove the Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T into the 11th Pro Stock qualifying position for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

In today's first session, Stevens set his quickest pass of the weekend in the left lane, a 6.621/208.39, with a slight detour by swerving out of and back in the groove. He repeated that move again in the final round out of the right lane, and posted another solid 6.627/208.10.

His Friday runs included a 6.740/204.85 and a 6.720/205.19.

"How about that?" he said. "The car is good, we just have to get it to go straight. It went left in both runs today, for whatever reason. The track is totally different today than it was yesterday. So, the starting line is a lot better and it's just hooking up really quick, and it's driving us left pretty bad. It went pretty bad left on the first run. It still went left on the second run, but it wasn't quite as bad. We went .62 in both runs and we definitely have some power in reserve for tomorrow."

Stevens faces Warren Johnson in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday, one of the drivers with whom he's fighting for a spot in the top eight for the Countdown to the Championship. "We've got Warren first round, who is one of the ones I'm chasing. It would be good to take him out early, and that's what we're going to go after.

"We are just probably going to crank a little preload in it to keep from going left and try to straighten it out a little bit, and hopefully go the distance tomorrow. That's the plan."

As for not earning lane choice: "We went .62 in both lanes today," said Stevens. "I think that the left lane was the preferred lane going off of last night. But then today it's a totally different track from yesterday. So, I don't know. Both lanes seem pretty equal. There's a couple of bumps in the right lane, about 300-400 ft. down, so that could throw a little curve ball at us tomorrow. But they seem pretty equal. As long as they don't get tore up by tomorrow morning, they shouldn't' be too bad."

A.J. NO. 5 IN READING QUALIFYING

Allen Johnson pulled out a solid 6.612-second pass at 208.36 mph in the final qualifying session today for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals to qualify No. 5 in the Mopar/J&J Racing Dodge Stratus R/T.

His other runs were a 6.747/204.94 and a 6.759/204.26 on Friday, which placed him on the bump spot in 16th. Today's third round of the weekend, a 6.633/207.66, moved him into 10th at the time, before his No. 5 qualifying run.

"Yeah, we've just been fighting a problem with the engine," said Johnson. "We changed engines last night. The first pass today we didn't make a very good run. In the last one we finally got a hold of it, after we changed some parts around. We're back where we should be, I think. We were second quickest of that session.

"Richie's car didn't make quite as good a run as ours. He should have been about the same as we were. We'll be equal tomorrow. He doesn't have lane choice. That's gong to be an obstacle for him. Maybe first round he can make a really good run and get lane choice for second round, and we can meet him in the finals."

Johnson faces Ron Krisher in the opening round of Pro Stock eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: mopar/dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Richie Stevens Jr. , Warren Johnson , Ron Krisher , Allen Johnson