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Richie Stevens Jr., drove his Roy Johnson powered, Don Schumacher Racing owned Team Mopar/Valspar Dodge Stratus R/T to a victory in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Series finals at the Texas Motorplex on Sunday. Stevens Jr., qualified ninth (6.728/203.77) in his first outing as part of the J&J Racing stable and defeated team owner Allen Johnson in the first round. He went on to defeat Dave Northrop in the quarterfinals, Kurt Johnson in the semifinals and Mike Edwards in the final round, to earn his fifth career series win. Stevens Jr.,'s victory ended a five-year drought, as his last victory came in 2001 at Englishtown, N.J.

"It's been five years [since his last win, Englishtown, N.J., 2001], and there were times I wasn't sure I'd ever get back here. We made two finals last year, and came up short both times. This year we've had three different crew chiefs and pretty much three different crews. We've finally got the parts together. Roy and Allen Johnson did a hell of a job. It was our debut race, with their power and their support behind us. It paid off for us, Mark Ingersoll did an awesome job setting the car up all weekend. We couldn't have done it without him, and it just feels great to be here."

Stevens Jr., and the other Team Mopar NHRA Pro Stock competitors carried memorial decals honoring the late Greg Reeves, a longtime Mopar/Dodge engineer and supporter of the Pro Stock program. Reeves passed away on Sunday, September 17. Stevens Jr., was quick to dedicate the victory to his memory.

"You know, one of our head engineers from Mopar passed away earlier this week. He probably would have been here to see this, and I wish he could have, but Greg Reeves was a longtime supporter of our program, as well as Allen Johnson's and anybody else involved with Mopar. We're gonna miss him, and we wish he was here to celebrate with us," Stevens Jr. said on Sunday.

Johnson also had a solid run in the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals event, qualifying in the eighth position with a 6.728/204.39 effort in the fourth qualifying session. Stevens Jr.'s .004 reaction time bested Johnson's .029 effort in the first round, to see Johnson lose on a holeshot. Johnson and Stevens Jr., had identical speeds in the first round match up, with both running 205.16. Johnson is currently ranked sixth in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Series points championship, while Stevens Jr., moved into eighth position.

Larry Morgan qualified 13th to move into Sunday's eliminations. Morgan ran a 6.742/204.57 and was defeated by Tommy Lee in the first round. V. Gaines also lost in the first round, posting a 6.750/205.16 run to lose to Jason Line. Dave Northrop succumbed in the first round of eliminations, posting a 6.762/204.17 losing effort to Greg Anderson.

Erica Enders debuted a new sponsor at the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals, introducing Revive-USA to the world of NHRA Pro Stock drag Racing in Texas on Friday. Revive-USA is a nutrition and beverage company headquartered in the Dallas, Texas, area. Enders enlisted the help of Miss Texas USA and several pro athletes to help with the unveiling of her new title sponsor at the Texas Motorplex on Friday. Enders' Don Schumacher Racing team continued to work on its program, qualifying 21st for the event. Enders will resume action at Reading, Pa., later this week.

 
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