Shawn Collins sells racing program RICHMOND, Va. (March 8) -- Sophomore Pro Stock driver Shawn Collins has sold his entire two-car race team to teammate Richie "The Kid" Stevens and his father Richie Stevens Sr.. Citing business obligations ...
Shawn Collins sells racing program
RICHMOND, Va. (March 8) -- Sophomore Pro Stock driver Shawn Collins has sold his entire two-car race team to teammate Richie "The Kid" Stevens and his father Richie Stevens Sr.. Citing business obligations and expressing a desire to spend more time with his wife Mary and their newborn daughter Megan, Collins elected to leave the competitive world of the National Hot Rod Association indefinitely, while still leaving room for a possible return some time in the future.
"This was an extremely tough decision for all of us," Collins said. "But I felt like it was the best move for me to make at this time. I have absolutely no regrets. The NHRA was everything I thought it would be and more. Plus, I really feel like we left a positive mark on the sport. We won plenty of rounds for a new team and putting Richie in the Winner's Circle at his age was a real accomplishment. I'm very proud of our effort."
Team Collins did have an extremely successful first year in 1998. Collins and Stevens qualified for 20 races and combined for 18 individual elimination round wins. They also captured one national event victory at the season-ending Winston Finals in Pomona, Calif. when -- at 20 years of age - Stevens emerged from the season's most prestigious field of drivers as the youngest Pro Stock champion in the history of the sport. Stevens also earned enough championship points to record a ninth place finish in the Winston Pro Stock points standings.
Although he won't be driving any more, Collins plans on staying heavily involved in the sport of drag racing. The Virginia ostrich rancher will be marketing his brand-new Racers Choice Smoked Meat Sticks at racetracks across the country and Pro Stock motorcycle driver Steve Johnson will help promote the snack stick through an associate-level sponsorship deal. Additionally, Collins will continue to develop his Kaase-Collins Pro Stock racing engines.
The Stevens family owns and operates a successful paint and body shop in New Orleans. The new team will be run under the name Richie "The Kid" Stevens Motorsports. "This is a huge challenge for us," the elder Stevens said. "Hopefully, we can make all the right adjustments and really make some competitive runs in Gainesville. We definitely don't want to miss any races. The immediate plans are to run Richie's car with the same crew and we'll go from there.
"We need to return to the way things were in Pomona when Richie won the Winston Finals and I think that's a very realistic goal. I firmly believe we have all the ingredients to compete for the title of every race we enter. We have a great, young driver, some incredible power from Mike Thomas' Finish Line engine program, and a fantastic crew. We are extremely appreciative of what Shawn built in this program and we hope to continue forward in a successful manner."