Joliet II: Dave Connolly preview

Connolly Looks to Return to Winning Ways at Route 66 Raceway SKULL GEAR Chevy Cobalt Driver Defending Race Pro Stock Champion Good things have been happening for Dave Connolly when he comes to Route 66 Raceway. He really won't mind if the...

Connolly Looks to Return to Winning Ways at Route 66 Raceway

SKULL GEAR Chevy Cobalt Driver Defending Race Pro Stock Champion

Good things have been happening for Dave Connolly when he comes to Route 66 Raceway. He really won't mind if the string continues when the NHRA POWERade Series competitors gather here for their final fall event at the track, the AmeriQuest Mortgages Nationals, Friday through Sunday.

There have been race wins -- his first career title in Super Gas in 2002; his victory at this event a year ago when he was joined in the winner's circle by his dad, Ray, the Super Gas winner; and his unexpected triumph in the King Demon Crown special Pro Stock race in June that was worth $50,000.

Connolly remembers them all and hopes his SKULL GEAR Chevrolet Cobalt team will be ready to battle for yet another favorable finish.

After Hurricane Rita postponed the Fall Nationals at Dallas from Sept. 25 until Oct. 9, Connolly competed in a major bracket race at Memphis on Sunday to stay active.

"The weather is supposed to be cool this weekend and that means the track will be pretty fast," said Connolly, of Elyria, Ohio. "It should produce national records for elapsed time and speed. We might even see the first 6.5-second Pro Stock run. You never know."

Connolly ran career bests of 6.667 seconds and 207.30 mph here last year. He's since increased his best speed to 207.51 mph.

"The week off gave Grump (engine builder Bill 'Grumpy' Jenkins) and his guys in the engine shop more time to get a motor ready for this race," Connolly said.

Connolly is fifth in POWERade Series points with 1127.

Three races remain on the docket -- at Dallas, Oct. 7-9; Las Vegas, Oct. 21-23; and Pomona, Calif., Nov. 3-6.

-jls-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Dave Connolly