Runner-up Finish Boosts Connolly into 11th Place in Quest for Pro Stock Top 10 Ranking ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., June 22, 2008 -- Dave Connolly resumed his march to a top-10 NHRA regular season finish Sunday by advancing to the finals of the ...
Runner-up Finish Boosts Connolly into 11th
Place in Quest for Pro Stock Top 10 Ranking
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., June 22, 2008 -- Dave Connolly resumed his march to a top-10 NHRA regular season finish Sunday by advancing to the finals of the Lucas Oil SuperNationals at Raceway Park. It was his third title round in six 2008 NHRA POWERade Series events.
Connolly eliminated Greg Stanfield, No. 2 qualifier Kurt Johnson and V Gaines with solid quarter-mile runs in the first three rounds, but the Cagnazzi Racing Charter Communications/LifeLock Chevy Cobalt was slowed by tire shake in the title round and Greg Anderson claimed the victory. The Cobalt lost traction early and Connolly was forced to shut it off. He coasted to the finish line in 20.285 seconds at 36.59 mph while Anderson, who also experienced traction trouble, won with a 7.578 at 200.20 mph.
The death of veteran Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta in a horrific crash Saturday put a damper on Sunday's activities.
Connolly's performance boosted his point total to 428 and his moved into 11th place. He now trails Warren Johnson by 71 points with seven races to go.
"We won some close races and luck was with us," said Connolly. "And any day we can get to the finals is a good day for us. We picked up a lot of points. The points battle is pretty tough right now but hopefully we'll get it all straightened out. We have a good race car again and it's getting down good and back tracks.
"We picked up three rounds on Warren in the countdown and any time you do that makes it a good day. We had a good car all day."
Track conditions, Connolly said, were responsible for the unusually slow times in the finals. "Greg had a 1.07 (second) 60-foot (time) and I had a 1.09 because the car shook hard. He got his car into second gear and was able to win the race."
Connolly beat Stanfield with a 6.673 to a 6.690 that set up a crucial quarterfinal race against Johnson, the point leader coming to New Jersey. Johnson left the line first but Connolly overhauled him, getting the win light four-thousandths of a second ahead of his rival -- 6.661 to 6.682.
In the semifinals, Connolly left the line first and never looked back -- 6.6676 to 6.683.
The Elyria, Ohio native returns to his home track in Norwalk this weekend for the second Summit Racing Equipment Nationals. Connolly is the defending Pro Stock champion.