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Team Chevy's Dave Connolly Rides No. 1 Qualifying spot all the way to National Event Victory at Pacific Raceways Torco Racing Fuels Chevrolet Driver Captures Third Season Win at Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals SEATTLE, July 22, 2007 - Team...

Team Chevy's Dave Connolly Rides No. 1 Qualifying spot all the way to National Event Victory at Pacific Raceways

Torco Racing Fuels Chevrolet Driver Captures Third Season Win at Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals

SEATTLE, July 22, 2007 - Team Chevy's Dave Connolly captured his third Pro Stock win of the season by defeating Allen Johnson in the final round of the 20th annual Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways. In a race that was delayed numerous times by rain and intermittent showers, the driver of the Torco Racing Fuels Chevrolet earned his first career victory at this venue to go along with a track-record elapsed time in the final round.

"We started off today watching it rain, waiting it out, wiping the car down," said Connolly. "The long day was well worth it. To get that Wally at the finish line was a real boost to this team. We wanted to recover from last weekend, we had a little hiccup in Denver, but we bounced back. To get that No. 1 qualifying spot, it's been a couple of years since I've had one of those, and then to take that all the way to the final, it was a lot of fun."

Connolly, who was runner-up at this event in 2004, entered the Sunday eliminator with his Torco Racing Fuels Chevrolet qualified in the No. 1 position, his first raceday pole since the 2005 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn. Connolly defeated Erica Enders in round one with a 6.691 elapsed time at 206.73 mph, Max Naylor in round two with a 6.668 second run at 206.51 mph, and Bob Panella in round three with a 6.671 e.t. at 206.54 mph.

In the finals, Allen Johnson's Dodge bolted out of the gate first with a rapid .019 reaction time, but Connolly's Chevrolet quickly reeled him in and thundered on across the finish line with a track-record elapsed time of 6.649 seconds at 206.20 mph. Johnson, who was making his second consecutive showing in a final round, followed with a 6.682 second run at 206.23 mph. The margin of victory for the Chevy Cobalt was .02 of a second, or approximately six feet.

"We saved the best for last and we needed every bit of it," said Connolly. "We pretty much knew it was going to be close going into the finals, and I guess the only thing I did was miss the tree a little bit with a .032 light. A.J. had us there, but this Chevy Cobalt definitely saved our butt. It was well worth the wait. Sitting in the staging lanes and the pits all day waiting for the rain to end kind of takes a toll on you, but the track was awesome. The NHRA Safety Safari did a great job prepping it for us in the final and we got to set the track e.t. record. You couldn't have asked for a better run in the final."

For Connolly, it was his 12th career victory, his 24th career final-round appearance and his fourth final round this season. Connolly's win today was also Chevrolet's 140th all time victory in the NHRA Pro Stock category, and earlier in the day he clinched a spot as one of the eight Pro Stock finalists in the Countdown to the Championship..

The next stop on the 23-race NHRA POWERade circuit is the 20th annual Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals on July 27 - 29 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella , Allen Johnson , Max Naylor , Dave Connolly