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Dave Connolly's Pro Stock Juggernaut Rolls Into Texas Motorplex Seeking Four Wins in Row The excitement is building -- along with the pressure -- as Dave Connolly takes one more step on a tenuous trip he hopes leads to the 2007 NHRA ...

Dave Connolly's Pro Stock Juggernaut Rolls Into Texas Motorplex Seeking Four Wins in Row

The excitement is building -- along with the pressure -- as Dave Connolly takes one more step on a tenuous trip he hopes leads to the 2007 NHRA POWERade Series Pro Stock championship.

He has been quite  spectacular of late, reeling off three consecutive, and
impressive, victories to  wrest the No. 1 position from three-time champion Greg
Anderson, who led from  the first race.  The latter two triumphs have come
against Anderson in the  new Countdown to Four segment, thereby providing
Connolly with a 2,291-2,258  advantage over Anderson as they prepare for the 22nd O'
Reilly Fall Nationals at  the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, near Dallas.
This is the third of  four races before the top four drivers move on to the
deciding two events and  the other four accept their parting gifts of places
five through eight when the  final tallies are counted after the Auto Club
Finals, Nov. 4, at Pomona,  Calif.

But there is a lot of close racing remaining, and Connolly, driver of Evan Knoll's Torco Racing Fuels Chevy Cobalt for Victor Cagnazzi Racing, is raring to go.

"The Countdown is cutthroat," he  said. "Every race is so important. We came
into the first two races (of this  segment) knowing that, and to win the
first two and be locked into a slot in the  finals already is incredible.  You
couldn't ask for a better time to get  hot.  I'm thankful I get to share this
with the people on our team, crew  chief Tommy Utt, his son John, Keith Graham
and Craig Campton. They are like  family to me. It's awesome.
"Tommy is like a second dad to  me.  He is getting his chance to shine
because Victor is giving him all the  right parts and pieces to work with and Evan
is giving us the funding to do  this. These Pro Stock cars are a little
finicky, and Tommy is doing a great job  of nitpicking at what we've established.  I'
m just a small ingredient and  I'm thankful they let me ride in the cockpit."
Connolly was second  after the first 17 races, 172 points behind Anderson
after winning at Reading,  Pa.  But he trailed by just 10, 2,070-2,060, after the
points were adjusted  going into Indianapolis.
"I'm excited about racing at  Dallas," continued Connolly.  "I won my
second race there (September  2004).  We must take every driver seriously.  It will
be challenging,  but we are excited about it."
At this juncture, Connolly and  Anderson have accelerated away from their six
rivals and Connolly is hunkered  down, preparing for what may play out as a
two-man title showdown.  The two  drivers have won 13 of the 19 2007 races to
date, Connolly taking a career-high  six in seven final rounds.  He has 15 wins
in 27 career final rounds in 101  Pro Stock races.

"When you have a good car and all the confidence in the world in the crew, obviously it is gives the driver confidence," said Connolly. "I feel comfortable in the seat and it shows in the on-track performances. I think our team is very good under pressure and I think we showed it in the last couple of races. It's going to be exciting for the fans and everyone else. Every round win means a lot."

-credit: ekr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Dave Connolly