A near-perfect light doesn't get the win
Las Vegas, Sunday: Richie Stevens Jr. cut a near-perfect reaction time in the Team Mopar HEMI-powered Dodge Stratus against reigning champion Greg Anderson in the first round of Pro Stock eliminations today at The Strip at Las Vegas. The .001 light (.000 is perfect) didn't get him the win, however, as Anderson claimed the victory with a 6.889/200.92 pass to Stevens' 6.940/200.92 (.030 R/T).
"It's one of those deals, I guess," said Stevens, whose teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. registered a perfect .000 in his first-round win against Jim Yates. "I don't know. Looking at the computer (after that run), it looks like I pulled it out of low gear early. I didn't think I did, but I guess I did.
"That must have killed it some. That's the way it goes. When you pull it out of gear kind of early it just hurts the ET and the momentum of the car and pulls it down. That's part of the reason why it didn't run as good number like it has been. That hurt us.
"I tried. I gave it all I could. It couldn't be any better than that, but we still came up on the wrong side. At least we qualified both cars this weekend for the fifth straight race (12th for Stevens, fourth for Coughlin); we did good."
Today's first-round loss was Stevens' third of the season, and his second against Anderson. He lost in the second round in the other two races of the year. "It was not a bad weekend. Qualifying is always a positive. I just wish we can go some rounds. We just keep having bad luck on Sunday. I've never been known to have good luck on any Sunday, anyway. I've always had to work for any kind of win I got. I never seem to get red-lights or shut-offs from my opponents. It never seems to work out to my advantage.
"We just neeed some luck. We're running good. We're getting both cars into the field. I just can't catch a break on Sunday to save our lives. I just need a little bit of luck. I thought here in Vegas I would get some. Evidently not.
"We'll go to Bristol and hope for the best there, I guess," said Stevens.
Stevens is now 13th in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series points, just 26 points out of 10th place.
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