Columbus: Dave Connolly final summary

Fluke Malfunction Occurs in Connolly's Close Quarterfinal Loss COLUMBUS, Ohio - Perhaps the easiest way to explain Dave Connolly's extremely close quarterfinal loss to Mike Edwards during Sunday's Pontiac Performance Nationals would be: a ...

Fluke Malfunction Occurs in Connolly's Close Quarterfinal Loss

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Perhaps the easiest way to explain Dave Connolly's extremely close quarterfinal loss to Mike Edwards during Sunday's Pontiac Performance Nationals would be: a fluke.

The margin of victory was a mere two-thousandths of a second, but it shouldn't have been that close.

Crew chief Terry Adams wondered why the Bullet Motorsports Chevy Cobalt wiggled a bit going over a bump in the left lane, a bump that hadn't troubled the car before. It was a mystery for a few minutes, until the culprit was discovered.

"There's a switch on the steering wheel that turns on the shocks at the hit of the throttle," said Adams. "That switch vibrated loose and turned sideways so it couldn't engage the shocks," keeping the shocks from adjusting to the bump instead of reacting to it. "I've never seen anything like it in all my years of racing.

"It cost us at least one-hundredth of a second. It definitely could've been the thing that cost us the round win, if not the race win," added Adams, a veteran crew chief with more than 20 years experience.

Connolly, who started from the No. 5 position, beat Rickie Smith (6.741 seconds at 204.35 mph to 6.818 at 203.34 mph) before facing Edwards in a classic, side-by-side race. Edwards had one-thousandths of a second lead off the starting line (.037 to .038) and added another one-thousandth at the finish line for the winning margin, 6.783 seconds to 6.784.

"I've never heard of anything happening like that in my two and a half years in Pro Stock," Connolly said. "Some weird things have been happening, and it makes you shake your head. We definitely feel we have a good race car. We had the second-quickest car in the first round."

Only Warren Johnson's 6.736-second time was quicker.

Connolly is third in POWERade Series points with 550.

The Bullet team will fix the errant part and move to Topeka, Kan., for the O'Reilly Summer Nationals, May 27-29.

-bm-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , Terry Adams , Rickie Smith , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards