Bristol: Dave Connolly Saturday summary

Connolly, Pro Stock Point Leader, Posts Best Qualifying Time BRISTOL, Tenn., April 30, 2005 -- Rain reduced qualifying for Sunday's O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway to just one attempt, and Dave Connolly and the Bullet ...

Connolly, Pro Stock Point Leader, Posts Best Qualifying Time

BRISTOL, Tenn., April 30, 2005 -- Rain reduced qualifying for Sunday's O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway to just one attempt, and Dave Connolly and the Bullet Motorsports team made the most of it.

Connolly, at the controls of his familiar Chevrolet Cavalier, shocked the Pro Stock field with a run of 6.814 seconds at 201.25 mph on a track that was difficult at best to negotiate following rain most of Friday and Saturday.

How good was it? Well, No. 2 Warren Johnson was two-hundredths of a second behind at 6.834 seconds, 201.58 mph. Ironically, Connolly is first in 2005 POWERade Series points with 428 and Johnson is second at 419.

Crew chief Terry Adams, who a few days ago decided he would rather run the Cavalier instead of the new Cobalt that needs more runs, continued his tuning mastery. Connolly had the quickest runs in all four elimination rounds at Las Vegas two weeks ago en route to a victory in the Cavalier.

This was the Elyria, Ohio-based driver's second career low qualifying honor. The other came last September at Memphis.

The Cavalier was to be replaced by a new Cobalt at this event, but the team needed more test time, and decided to stick with the Cavalier.

"The Cavalier showed it didn't want to be put away yet," said Connolly. "We tried to get our new car ready, but it rained Tuesday (in Rockingham, N.C.) and we didn't get as many runs on the car as we wanted. It wouldn't have taken much because the new car showed a lot of promise down low (in the first half of the track) but we didn't feel two full runs on the car was enough to run it here, especially with the weather the way it was predicted.

"Terry had a real good handle on the car and the performance is the reaction of the work he's put in on it lately. We just got lucky and hit it real close on the first run."

Connolly had the quickest runs during each of the four rounds at Las Vegas and the Bullet Motorsports team is hopeful the Cavalier, with horsepower provided by drag racing legend Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, has four more runs like that in store for Sunday's eliminations.

First up is Ron Krisher, No. 16 at 6.881 seconds.

-bms-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , Ron Krisher , Terry Adams , Dave Connolly