Norwalk: GM Racing final report

Dave Connolly Puts Chevy Cobalt in Pro Stock Winner's Circle at Summit Racing Nationals Ohio native drives to third win of the season in front of hometown crowd NORWALK, Ohio, July 1, 2007 - Team Chevy's Dave Connolly made his second trip this...

Dave Connolly Puts Chevy Cobalt in Pro Stock Winner's Circle at Summit Racing Nationals
Ohio native drives to third win of the season in front of hometown crowd

NORWALK, Ohio, July 1, 2007 - Team Chevy's Dave Connolly made his second trip this season to the NHRA Pro Stock winner's circle with a final-round victory over Larry Morgan at today's inaugural Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Summit Racing Motorsports Park. The 24-year-old Connolly, who hails from nearby Elyria, Ohio, turned in an impressive weekend performance that culminated in his 11th career victory, and low elapsed time of the meet for the Torco Racing Fuels Chevy Cobalt.

"This is pretty sweet," said Connolly. "I grew up at this track - I made my first run in a racecar here, so to come back at the first NHRA event ever held here, and to be this successful, the weather to be this nice, in front of 40,000 fans in the seats, this is about as good as it gets."

Connolly entered the Sunday eliminator with his Torco Racing Fuels Chevrolet qualified in the No. 4 position. He defeated Warren Johnson in round one with his Chevrolet running the quickest time of the meet at 6.628 seconds. He came back in round two to defeat Greg Stanfield and then advanced to the championship heat with a semifinal-round win over Cagnazzi Racing teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr.

"Warren was tough in the first round - he went red by just a few thousandths," said Connolly. "Then we had two world champions, (Greg) Stanfield and Jeggie (Coughlin), and those are always tough rounds. Today was just one of those deals where our Chevy Cobalt was running mean all day."

In the finals, Larry Morgan's Lucas Oil Dodge launched first and garnered a hundredth of a second advantage off the starting line, but by halftrack, the Chevy Cobalt caught the Dodge and then bolted past the finish stripe with a winning 6.660 e.t. at 207.11 mph. Morgan followed with a 6.718 second run at 205.54 mph. The margin of victory for the Chevrolet was .048 of a second.

"The final had me a little scared," said Connolly. "Larry's (Morgan) like a ticking time bomb, you don't know what he's going to give you. We went up there, and Larry was flickering the tree, and I didn't think the tree was ever going to come on. But when it did and that win light came on, it was awesome.

"You never know what to expect because the class is so tough, but I liked out chances after qualifying. We knew we left a little on the table Friday night, we came out Saturday and we were the second quickest in both sessions. I knew we had the car to win, I just had to get up on the wheel a little bit and concentrate on my driving."

It marked the 23rd career final-round appearance for Connolly, his third this season, and it provided Chevrolet with its 138th all time victory in NHRA Pro Stock competition. Connolly also tied Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins and Frank Iaconio for most wins by an NHRA Pro Stock driver.

"This was a great win for the whole Torco Racing Fuels Chevy race team," said Connolly. "We had a couple of fellow Ohioans that we raced, my teammate (Jeg Coughlin), and then Larry Morgan, who has a heart of gold, in the finals. Victor Cagnazzi (team owner) and Tommy Utt (crew chief), you gave me the hot rod to win today."

-credit: gm racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Warren Johnson , Larry Morgan , Greg Stanfield , Dave Connolly