Bristol: Dave Connolly final report

Dave Connolly Finishes Long Day at Bristol With First Pro Stock Win of the Season Look out NHRA Pro Stock top 10 hopefuls, Dave Connolly is closing in. He began chasing POWERade Series points five races after his challengers, making his...

Dave Connolly Finishes Long Day at Bristol With First Pro Stock Win of the Season

Look out NHRA Pro Stock top 10 hopefuls, Dave Connolly is closing in.

He began chasing POWERade Series points five races after his challengers, making his 2008 debut three races ago. But he and the Cagnazzi Racing Charter Communications Chevy Cobalt team showed little rust. Connolly was runner-up two weeks ago at St. Louis and then he drove into the Thunder Valley Nationals winner's circle Sunday at Bristol Dragway following a long day of waiting out rain delays.

The victory, the 18 of his career  in 31 final rounds, boosted him into 14th
place with 244 points and he is just  83 out of 10th -- the final position in
the six-race Countdown to the  Championship that doesn't begin until September.
"We were hungry,"  Connolly said.  "We definitely wanted to get our first
2008 race win and  I'm glad we were able to get it at Bristol.  It's kind of a
home race for  us and we won it in front of a lot of friends.
"We were able to get  some better luck at Bristol today.  We've lost the
tight ones, blown up  motors and took out (timing) cones before, but this time we
picked up the  trophy."

Ray Connolly, Dave's dad, made it two family wins in one day again when he won in Super Gas. It was the third time they've accomplished the feat since Dave's Pro Stock debut in 2003.

Dave  Connolly began the day from the No. 6 starting slot and eliminated Tom
Hammonds  (6.776 seconds to 6.795), Greg Anderson (6.769 to foul), Ron Krisher
on a hole  shot (6.769 to 6.760) and Greg Stanfield in the finals on another
hole shot  (6.731 at 204.70 mph to 6.717 at 204.42).
Connolly said he played a  starting-line game with Stanfield and took
advantage of it.  Connolly's  .014-second reaction time bolted him into a lead he
never relinquished.   Stanfield had .101 reaction time.
"That's what you have to do when  you feel like you're the underdog," said
Connolly. "That's just how it worked  out. I knew we had the car to win the
race and it took the driver to let go of  the clutch pedal on time in the last
couple of rounds to get hole-shot  wins.  It shook a little on the last run
but it was still good enough to  get that win light, and that's all that counts."
Intermittent rain  showers and a strong storm later in the day prolonged the
final rounds until  after 10 p.m., but Connolly and the Mooresville,
N.C.-based team didn't  mind.
"Thanks to Charter Communications and LifeLock for helping us  get back to
the track," said Connolly. "I was ready to go racing  again."

And get back to the winner's circle.

-credit: vcr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Greg Stanfield , Dave Connolly