Richie ''Kid'' Stevens Phoenix Qualifying Review

PHOENIX (Feb. 21) -- Valspar Refinish Pro Stock driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens took advantage of Friday's cool temperatures and posted a pair of competitive qualifying laps at Firebird International Raceway. The Valspar team's effort netted ...

PHOENIX (Feb. 21) -- Valspar Refinish Pro Stock driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens took advantage of Friday's cool temperatures and posted a pair of competitive qualifying laps at Firebird International Raceway. The Valspar team's effort netted Stevens the 16th and final qualifying position on the Checker-Schuck's-Kragen Nationals Pro Stock qualifying ladder with two rounds yet to be contested tomorrow.

"The car pretty much ran the same in both sessions," said Stevens, who ran a 6.989-second lap in Round 1 and a 6.987-second pass in Round 2. "We're barely in the field so I think it's time to make some changes so we can step it up a bit and move up the ladder.

"We're taking a long look at the four-link suspension. It's been a long time since we've had to change anything in that department. It makes me a little nervous to mess with it but we feel like something has to be done.

"The Valspar car is definitely got plenty of horsepower. I can feel that. It's just bogging in the middle of each run and we can't determine what's causing that to happen. It could be the track but I have a feeling it's the car."

Stevens opened with a 6.989-second pass at 197.16 mph in spite of stalling his car twice during the run. The lap temporarily put him in 10th place out of 33 cars entered.

"We were flying that lap," Stevens said. "I had the quickest 60-foot time of the entire session. But the car began to shake the tires in third gear and it caused it to stall out for a second. Then it did the same thing in fourth gear. If that hadn't happened, I would have been much quicker. We were still pretty pleased to run quick enough to put this Valspar car in the field."

Television coverage of this event has been expanded. Qualifying highlights will be televised from 8-9 p.m. Saturday on Speedvision. First round coverage airs Sunday from 4-6 p.m. on Speedvision and final round action will air later that evening on Fox Sports Net from midnight-2 a.m. Speedvision will then rebroadcast final round coverage from 8-10 p.m. Monday. (All times listed are Eastern.)

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Series NHRA