Baytown: Dave Connolly preview

Connolly's Slammers Cobalt Going in Right Direction -- toward Winner's Circle BAYTOWN, Texas, March 27, 2007 -- Bravo! Brands Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: BRVO): The evolution of being a member of a two-car NHRA Pro Stock team continues for Dave ...

Connolly's Slammers Cobalt Going in Right Direction -- toward Winner's Circle

BAYTOWN, Texas, March 27, 2007 -- Bravo! Brands Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: BRVO): The evolution of being a member of a two-car NHRA Pro Stock team continues for Dave Connolly, and it is definitely going in the right direction.

Connolly, who joined Jeg Coughlin as a member of Cagnazzi Racing's Slammers Ultimate Milk team this season, credited a two-day test session with eliminating the gremlins that had invaded his TORCO/Slammers Ultimate Milk Chevy Cobalt this season. It comes just in time for the O'Reilly Spring Nationals, Friday through Sunday, at Houston Raceway Park.

"We tested both cars and learned quite a bit," said Connolly, of Elyria, Ohio. "We found the problem that has caused us grief since the beginning of the year. We thought both cars were identical but they weren't. We went from the front (of the car) to the rear bumper. We changed the four-link, shocks, everything you can bolt on the car as far as the chassis goes, before we found it.

"It was a minor problem and only took probably two minutes to fix. It shows just how complex these cars are. We found some problems in other areas we weren't even looking for."

Despite posting personal bests in elapsed time (6.594 seconds) and speed (209.95 mph) at Gainesville, Fla.(March 18), Connolly was disappointed with his quarterfinal finish, but the positive testing outcome considerably brightened his outlook.

"I'm looking forward to going to Houston," he said. "I was talking with Jeg this morning we agreed that the team is going in the right direction and we are going to keep getting better and better," Connolly noted. "Jeg ran good at Gainesville and I think I have my car running the same as his now. Hopefully we can run our cars similarly. It will help our qualifying situation and race-day setup a lot better if we have two cars that are acting the same. If we do, it should make us more competitive."

Connolly is fourth in POWERade Series points with 180 after three of 23 races in the extremely competitive Pro Stock field. If he and Coughlin, seventh with 139 points, are to stay in championship contention, more testing will be in his the future.

"I think all the teams are stepping up," said Connolly, who frequently drives both yellow Cobalts. "It has become a bigger key to building a winning team. There were teams testing at Houston and Dallas. We've done a lot more testing this year than we ever have. It's just what you have to do. It's been quite a learning experience for me just watching all the things we are doing and trying."

One thing is certain. His test driving duties aren't about to end soon.

-credit: cr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Dave Connolly