STEVENS DRIVES HIS WAY INTO TOP 10 WITH SEMIFINAL FINISH IN SEATTLE KENT, Wash. (July 23, 2006) - Richie Stevens Jr.'s recent racing consistency is paying off, as he was able to parlay a semifinal finish in today's Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA ...
STEVENS DRIVES HIS WAY INTO TOP 10 WITH SEMIFINAL FINISH IN SEATTLE
KENT, Wash. (July 23, 2006) - Richie Stevens Jr.'s recent racing consistency is paying off, as he was able to parlay a semifinal finish in today's Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways into a top-10 spot in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Pro Stock standings by moving up from 12th to ninth.
No. 8 qualifier Stevens scored a quick victory against Jim Yates in the opening round by posting a 6.789-second elapsed time at 203.83 mph to Yates' 6.853/203.55. Both cars delivered outstanding reaction times: Stevens a .019, Yates .014 (.000 is perfect). Stevens' next opponent was Max Naylor in the quarterfinal, whom Stevens defeated with a 6.824/203.06 to Naylor's 6.845/203.31 after nailing a .005 reaction time.
Stevens' match-up against Tom Martino in the semis produced a close contest, but it was Martino taking the win with a 6.786/204.82 to Stevens' losing 6.787/203.52. The race was decided at the starting line, when Stevens took off with a .077 reaction time, while Martino registered a .046.
"It was close; we ran almost identical times," said the 27-year-old New Orleans native. "I was just late on the tree. He got out there on me and we just couldn't reel him in.
"We made a good run. David (Nickens, crew chief/engine builder) did a good job with the car all day. He made all the right calls for that round, and I just couldn't get the light we needed," said Stevens.
"All in all, it was not a bad weekend. We qualified well and got to the semifinals, and we fought hard this weekend. We're steadily gaining ground, and we seem to be getting better and better every weekend.
"You get a little taste of winning, and you want to take it all. It just feels really good to come here on Sunday and know you can go rounds, and that is where David and Terry (Adams, co-crew chief) have us now."
Next up for Stevens is the Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway (Sonoma, Calif., July 28-30).