Dave Connolly Goes to Second Straight Final Round, Finishes Second Dave Connolly knew he needed a near-perfect start in the final round of Sunday's O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka if he was to challenge Greg Anderson. He...
Dave Connolly Goes to Second Straight Final Round, Finishes Second
Dave Connolly knew he needed a near-perfect start in the final round of Sunday's O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka if he was to challenge Greg Anderson. He missed it by eight-thousandths of a second on the minus side and fouled out in the battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 drivers in NHRA POWERade Pro Stock competition.
Anderson won with a 6.704-second, 206.86-mph performance to get the win. Connolly's Torco Racing Fuels/Seelye Wright Automotive Group Chevy Cobalt had a 6.747 at 204.66 mph.
"I was happy getting to the final," said Connolly. "We didn't run as well as we liked to today, not like we did at our last race at St. Louis (May 6). Overall, it was a good weekend. We've been here for three years and went to the finals all three. Unfortunately Greg has been the one to beat us both times.
"We had to go for it in the final. I got lucky to drive well enough to get there. It was one of those deals where he was outrunning us by four-hundredths (of a second) and he was leaving with a .020-second to .030-second (reaction time). I had to go for an 0 and just missed it a little bit. There's nothing to be ashamed of. The guys did a great job. We are looking ahead to next week (at Joliet, Ill.) to race in the King Demon Crown special race that pays $50 grand to win."
Connolly, the race's No. 2 qualifier, eliminated Greg Stanfield in the first round (6.736 at 204.39 to 7.152 at 156.68), Kurt Johnson (6.739 at 205.07 to 6.743 at 205.29) and Jason Line on a hole-shot, 6.748 at 204.73 to a 6.713 at 206.32. Connolly had a .012 reaction to Line's .090.
Connolly now has been to two straight final rounds. While he didn't gain any ground on first-place Anderson, his total moved to 576, 35 ahead of Victor Cagnazzi teammate Jeg Coughlin.
Connolly's team won NHRA's Full Throttle Award for most-consistent qualifying times for the second straight time. It pays $1500 to the team.