Connolly and team announce 2006 engine plans

Dave Connolly to use engines from Cagnazzi Motorsports in 2006; SKULL GEAR continues backing of Rickie Smith and Dick Maskin team DECATUR, Mich. - SKULL GEAR owner Evan Knoll has announced that his NHRA POWERade Pro Stock team driven by Dave ...

Dave Connolly to use engines from Cagnazzi Motorsports in 2006; SKULL GEAR continues backing of Rickie Smith and Dick Maskin team

DECATUR, Mich. - SKULL GEAR owner Evan Knoll has announced that his NHRA POWERade Pro Stock team driven by Dave Connolly will utilize Victor Cagnazzi engines in 2006. Knoll, who also owns Torco Race Fuels, has also extended the sponsorship of Rickie Smith and team owner Dick Maskin.

The Cagnazzi Motorsports program will replace the previous engine program established by Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins.

"I'm very excited with the potential of this alliance," Knoll said. "As far as I am concerned, the Cagnazzi operation has the most horsepower to offer us at this time. They have an impressive in-house program that when combined with our championship driver will produce a killer combination. I like Victor Cagnazzi's style of doing things."

Knoll was quick to point out that he's grateful for the effort put into his team's program by Jenkins.

"Grumpy hung in there with us and we did the same with him," Knoll said. "We've experienced some tough times with this team and through it all Grumpy never stopped trying. 2006 will be a new year and we just decided to go in another direction. That's all. I have a lot of respect for Bill Jenkins and he has a lot of success left in him for the years to come."

Knoll will extend the sponsorship program of Rickie Smith and Dick Maskin through the 2006 season. He originally signed the duo in the middle of the 2005 NHRA POWERade tour.

"They provide a quality representation of our SKULL GEAR brand and I'm eager to be teamed up with them for 2006 and possibly beyond. You never know what can happen in this class. I am very happy with what they provided for us this season."

Knoll's team will begin testing in mid-December and he expects them to log nearly 50 runs on the new Jerry Bickel Cobalt. He also has a Jerry Haas Cobalt and will test it extensively as well.

"When Pomona rolls around, the car that does the best will be in the starting line-up. I know one thing is for sure, when that time comes we will be more than ready for the challenge, said Knoll."

-jls-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rickie Smith , Dave Connolly