SEATTLE (July 30) -- The breathtaking surroundings of Seattle International Raceway couldn't soothe the feelings of frustration that Pro Stock driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens felt during the opening day of qualifying for the 12th Annual Prolong...
SEATTLE (July 30) -- The breathtaking surroundings of Seattle International Raceway couldn't soothe the feelings of frustration that Pro Stock driver Richie "The Kid" Stevens felt during the opening day of qualifying for the 12th Annual Prolong Super Lubricants Nationals.
The 20-year-old pilot of the Valspar Refinish Pontiac Firebird struggled throughout the day, posting an "ugly lap" in the first session and then failing to complete his second pass due to severe tire shake. Although he ran well enough in Round 1 to earn the 16th and final spot in the field through two rounds of qualifying, Stevens found plenty of ways to improve on his marks of 6.979 seconds and 196.82 mph during Saturday's two scheduled sessions.
"I can't figure out what we're doing wrong," Stevens said. "Especially in that Round 2 pass. I've never experienced tire shake like that before. I bet I didn't get 30 feet off the starting line before the tires went square.
"I might be in the field right now but in my mind we're not even close. I guarantee that number won't hold. The bump spot will be a 6.95 before we're all through.
"I need to get down the track. That's the main thing we need to worry about, getting from Point A to Point B without any problems. I don't like getting through a whole day of racing and feeling like this. It's time to step it up.
"The only thing good I can think of at this point is that as ugly as that first lap was, it was still good enough to keep us in the field. At least we know that our car is dialed in better than all the guys that are behind us are. We've shown enough promise that I'm confident we can get this Valspar car to move way up the ladder tomorrow."
Saturday's two qualifying sessions are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.