Baytown: Connolly to sub for Houston

Dave Connolly to drive Nitro Fish Pro Stock Entry in NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly will make his 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series debut this weekend at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston. But he...

Dave Connolly to drive Nitro Fish Pro Stock Entry in NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston

Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly will make his 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series debut this weekend at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston. But he will be driving Kenny Koretsky's colorful Nitro Fish Dodge instead of the familiar Cagnazzi Racing Charter Communications Chevrolet Cobalt

Connolly, one of the category's best, has been sidelined by the current economic downturn for the first three 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, so he accepted the offer to drive Koretsky's car. But not before receiving approval from Victor Cagnazzi, his team owner, and General Motors, which supplies the Chevrolets he usually drives.

Business and family commitments forced driver Dave Northrop to miss the Houston race, opening the seat. Northrop plans to be at the controls of Koretsky's car for nine more events this season.

"I'm glad we were able to get a high-caliber driver like Dave Connolly to fill-in for Dave Northrop," said Koretsky. "We want to give (crew chief) Eddie Guarnaccia all the tools he needs as we try to work out these Hemi motors."

Connolly, a 21-race winner, is eager to get back to racing, even if it is for one race.

"I'm still part of Cagnazzi Racing and when Kenny offered his car for me to drive this weekend, I was excited. But I wanted the blessings of Victor, General Motors and (crew chief) Tommy Utt, and they said 'yes'. It will be good to get behind the wheel of a Pro Stock car again. I'm honored they picked me to drive the car.

"The last time I sat in a Pro Stock seat was in Pomona (Calif.) last year in November and now, four months later, this is the first time I'm getting back in the seat. Hopefully it will be like riding a bicycle and I can jump right back in there and be on top of things. As competitive as Pro Stock is, there's definitely no room for error, especially in the driver's seat."

The Elyria, Ohio native has finished no lower than sixth in his five years on tour. Connolly missed the first five races in 2008 but still managed four victories in eight final rounds. He climbed up to sixth place in points at the end of the 18-race regular season.J

"We'd like the weather in Houston to be good Thursday because we'd like to test so I can get used to driving the car," he added. "We'd like to see the Nitro Fish Dodge go some rounds on Sunday.

"Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, Cagnazzi Racing can find someone to partner with Charter Communications and I can get back in my Chevy Cobalt. Then we can get back to trying to win a championship. I'm looking forward to racing again with Tommy Utt and the rest of my team."

-credit: dcpr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Koretsky , Dave Northrop , Dave Connolly