CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals
Stevens ousted by Pro Stock champ in first round
He overcame not qualifying in the first round because of an engine problem and a rainout of the second round by finally taking the No. 10 spot after only three sessions. There was just one remaining stumbling block. He would have to face the reigning two-time Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson in Stevens' first Pro Stock appearance since 2003.
Lacking lane choice, Stevens was relegated to the less-favorable right lane for the first round. He launched with a more-than-respectable .040 reaction time, but
"It's one of the toughest classes out here," said Stevens. "And I got a great welcome-back present by having Greg Anderson first round," he laughed. "We tried and we tried and gave it our best, and went out there and shook the tires from the initial hit. It just didn't make a good run. Greg made a pretty good run and it was kind of hard to beat him today. But, we'll get another shot in
"The right lane was a little worse than the left lane," he explained. "The Top Fuel and Funny Cars preferred the right lane, but it was kind of different in Pro Stock. I don't know why, but it was. The right lane wasn't as good as the left so we didn't have lane choice, same for (my teammate) Jeg (Coughlin, who also lost in the first round). We got stuck in that bad lane. I think that's a lot of the problem; not all of it, but a lot of it."
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