Connolly reflects on his first accident

First Accident Surprises Dave Connolly 'Embarrassed' Connolly Eager to Get Back into SKULL GEAR Cobalt; Car Goes to Jerry Bickel's Shop for Front-end Repairs It was something he's done thousands of times without any trouble, so...

First Accident Surprises Dave Connolly

'Embarrassed'  Connolly Eager to Get Back into SKULL GEAR
Cobalt; Car Goes to Jerry  Bickel's Shop for Front-end Repairs

It was something he's done thousands of times without any trouble, so Dave Connolly certainly wasn't anticipating anything out of the ordinary when he guided the SKULL GEAR Pro Stock Chevrolet Cobalt off the starting line on its test-run burnout at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta earlier this week.

Everything  was normal, so much so that Connolly was "shutting off the fuel
pump and didn't  think about having anything happen," he said.  "The car was a
little  sideways on the burnout and when I lifted the right tire grabbed and
sent me  into the concrete retaining wall.  It was just one of those deals.
"It was more embarrassing than anything else," he continued.   "It wasn't
what we were looking for.  I'd never crashed anything  before.  I feel bad for
the team because they're the ones who have to work  on it."
The left front of the Cobalt was damaged so crew chief  Terry Adams decided
to send it to car builder Jerry Bickel's St. Louis-area shop  for repairs.
"It tore up the front end pretty good," Adams  said.  "Jerry said his guys
will work on it this weekend and get it  fixed.  He has a paint shop there and
can do it all.  It's one-stop  shopping."

Bickel is completing work on a new SKULL GEAR Cobalt that should be ready for delivery in a few weeks.

Adams, who this  year is using engines supplied by Victor Cagnazzi Racing,
was pleased with  the performance progress he'd made prior to the accident.  "We
'll finish  our testing at Las Vegas (Feb. 3-5)," he said.  "The more runs
we make, the  better we'll be."

The season begins with the CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals, Feb. 9-12, at Pomona, Calif.

Connolly, meanwhile,  is eager to get back in the driver's seat.  "Several
drivers who were there  testing came up to me and told me to not feel bad; they'
ve done the same  thing.  Jeggie (recently retired Pro Stock driver Jeg
Coughlin Jr.) told me  this was just a little sideshow.  He said I only have one
option, and  that's to get over it."

-jls

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Terry Adams , Dave Connolly