Sonoma: Dave Connolly preview

Connolly Continues Piling Up Pro Stock Points; Looking for More at Sonoma Dave Connolly is certifiably hot. The fourth-year Pro Stock racer already is recognized as one of the best young drivers on circuit and he is beginning to confirm his...

Connolly Continues Piling Up Pro Stock Points; Looking for More at Sonoma
Dave Connolly is certifiably hot.

The fourth-year Pro Stock racer already is recognized as one of the best young drivers on circuit and he is beginning to confirm his rising status to that of bona-fide championship contender with his third win of the year Sunday at Seattle. It was his second in four races and thrust him within 26 points of Jeg Coughlin, his Victor Cagnazzi Racing teammate, in the fight for second place in the Countdown to the Championship's first phase.

Connolly also clinched one of the eight Countdown positions with  his
dominating 12th career victory at Seattle.  "They can't keep me out of  the
(season-ending) awards banquet now," he quipped.  If he continues  performing like he
has, it may be hard to keep Connolly from winning it  all.

The driver of Evan Knoll's Torco Racing Fuels Chevy Cobalt is focused on producing an encore performance in the FRAM Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., Friday through Sunday.

"It has been good to run all these races in a row (this is the sixth)," added Connolly, who trailed Coughlin by 112 points going into the Seattle race. "With all the resources Victor has, all the people back at the shop in Mooresville (N.C.), they get everything done while we're out on the road for this long stretch and it's paying big dividends, helping us to be as competitive as we are."

Just being among the top eight after the 17th race wasn't Connolly's goal. He wants to be among the top three -- which he already is -- when the points are reset. The first race in the second of three phases -- the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Aug. 31-Sept. 3 -- begins with the No. 1 driver 10 points ahead of No. 2, 2070-2060. The points decrease by 10 for each of the positions. Four races later the points change again to 3030, 3020, 3010 and 3000 for the final four, who will decide the winner in the season's last two races at Las Vegas (Oct. 28) and Pomona, Calif. (Nov. 4).

The native of Elyria, Ohio, finished third, fifth and third in his  first
three professional seasons, winning a career-high four races last  year.
"We are taking one race at time and we'll  see what happens at Indy," said
Connolly.  "We have to continue what we've  been doing all year.  We've been a
top three car since the season  began.  If we continue to perform like we
are, we should be  fine."

-credit: dcr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Dave Connolly