Richie Stevens completes 3-day test in Team Mopar Dodge INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 19, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. today completed three days of testing the Don Schumacher Racing Team Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus Pro Stock car at Bradenton (Fla.) ...
Richie Stevens completes 3-day test in Team Mopar Dodge
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 19, 2005) - Richie Stevens Jr. today completed three days of testing the Don Schumacher Racing Team Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus Pro Stock car at Bradenton (Fla.) Motorsports Park.
Stevens made 12 passes in three days in his first time behind the wheel of the Bob Glidden-tuned Dodge, with his best pass a 6.71-second ET at 205.4 mph, set on Tuesday, Jan. 18. Both Stevens and Glidden were pleased with the results of this test, aimed primarily to get Stevens comfortable in his new mount and to get a baseline on the clutch setup before the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series opens its 2005 season at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway on Feb. 10-13.
"It went very well," said Stevens, 26, of New Orleans. "Bob said he was more than happy with everything we did. Luckily I fit really good in the car, and the Team Mopar Dodge went out and went straight almost every pass.
"We ran some good numbers. Jeggie (his teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the Jeg's Mail Order/Mopar Dodge) was right ahead of me. He went 6.70 at 206. We're pretty evenly matched; both cars are doing fine.
"Bob was trying to get a baseline on the clutch setup in both cars. He said he thought the disc had a bad coating so I think that kind of threw him off a little bit the first day. We tried a new clutch setup today and that one pass today was the best-looking run on the computer in all three days. I think Bob might have gotten that clutch problem figured out on that run this morning."
Stevens is eager to return to Pro Stock competition after being out of that class since 2003. "It feels great. It feels awesome," he said. "To be out there running and to do as well as we did these last few days feels really good. To come out and do well right from the start is encouraging. I don't feel like we're starting from the beginning. I feel like we've started in the middle, if not a little further on than that.
"The other cars were running 6.69s and .70s, but Bob was telling me that the test motor he had in there was a little down on horsepower so that made me feel real good."
As for any additional pre-season testing: "Bob is going to go back to the shop and tear the motors down and see what they look like and go from there," added Stevens, four-time Pro Stock event winner. "As of now, he said stay tuned and we'll see. Once he gets back to the shop and studies the graphs, if he thinks we're far enough ahead, we'll just pass and go straight to Pomona."