Memphis: Dave Connolly preview

Dave Connolly searching for more points . . . this time at Memphis In a hole after an unexpected first-round playoff setback two weeks ago at Charlotte, Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly hopes to continue his climb toward the top of the standings...

Dave Connolly searching for more points . . . this time at Memphis

In a hole after an unexpected first-round playoff setback two weeks ago at Charlotte, Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly hopes to continue his climb toward the top of the standings this weekend in the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Coming from behind, in fact, is all the driver of the Cagnazzi Racing Charter Communications/Lucas Oil Chevy Cobalt has known in 2008. He began the season five races after everyone else, yet still managed to claim the No. 6 starting position when NHRA's Countdown to 1 six-race title decider began.

Connolly's drive to the semifinals near Dallas Sunday boosted him from seventh to fifth place in points (2,126). He trails Jeg Coughlin, the series leader and his Cagnazzi Racing teammate, by 99 points (five rounds) with 16 rounds (four races) to go.

Connolly did not have the opportunity to beat Coughlin in the semifinals on Sunday because the car's line lock malfunctioned and he couldn't stop the car from crossing the starting line too soon.

"Being five rounds out is not a horrible position to be in," said Connolly. "With four races to go, anything is feasible. We need to go rounds like we have been. We have to try and avoid the stupid little things from happening like the brake issue last week. I thought we could've put the car into the winner's circle, but it wasn't meant to be.

"We'll fix the problems and move on. We can't make up those five rounds in one week, but we have to focus on each run. That's what I was doing last weekend. I wasn't worried about racing Justin (Humphreys) or Allen Johnson in the second round because I was worried about racing Larry Morgan in the first round. And after I got by him, then I was worried about Justin. I want to just take it one round at a time and stay focused.

"I was pretty focused last weekend, but it didn't work out. I know if I continue to do my job like I did last week the car will always there. We'll just give it our best shot."

Connolly enjoys competing at Memphis. "I've had quite a bit of success there and I like racing there," he said. I used to bracket race at Memphis a lot. It's just one of those tracks you can be comfortable with."

He was runner-up at MMP in 2004 and earned his first No. 1 qualifying position there in 2006.

"It's kind of a dream to be out here again and having a shot at the trophy," Connolly concluded. "My goal is to see if we can pick up a win or two in the next couple of races."

-credit: vcr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Larry Morgan , Allen Johnson , Dave Connolly