Pomona II: Dave Connolly final report

Disappointed Connolly stunned in opening round; Early setback drops Connolly to sixth in points POMONA, Calif., Nov. 16 -- Tire shake in Sunday's first round shook up Dave Connolly's plans of winning the Auto Club Finals at Auto Club Raceway at...

Disappointed Connolly stunned in opening round; Early setback drops Connolly to sixth in points

POMONA, Calif., Nov. 16 -- Tire shake in Sunday's first round shook up Dave Connolly's plans of winning the Auto Club Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and placing second in NHRA's Pro Stock category.

Rickie Jones was the beneficiary of Connolly's loss of traction. Connolly put the Cagnazzi Racing Lucas Oil/Charter Communications Chevy Cobalt in front with a .057 reaction to Jones' .072 before the tire chattering forced him abort the run. Jones won with a 6.715-second, 206.76-mph effort while a disappointed Connolly coasted across in 10.050 seconds at 91.55 mph.

"The car just shook the tires for no reason," said Tommy Utt, the team's crew chief. "We made the same kind of run (in qualifying) Saturday afternoon, but we didn't get the same results. It looked good when it left the line."

Connolly's loss dropped him from fourth to sixth place -- the first time in his five-year Pro Stock career he has not finished in the top five . He had 2,383 points, five behind Mike Edwards and Jason Line, who were fourth and fifth at 2,388.

"It was a typical day for us at Pomona . . . we didn't do well," Connolly said. "It was very disappointing and we'll be standing sixth on the stage (at Monday night's awards ceremony)."

In addition to his Pro Stock duties, Connolly jumped into Arnie Martel's Competition Eliminator car for the Finals and drove it all the way to the final round before falling to season champion Dan Fletcher.

-credit: vcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jason Line , Dan Fletcher , Dave Connolly , Rickie Jones , Mike Edwards