Brainerd: Dave Connolly final report

Connolly runner-up at Brainerd; Moves to 8th in Countdown Standings BRAINERD, Minn., August 10, 2008 -- Dave Connolly extended his Pro Stock round-win streak to seven in a row Sunday in the Lucas Oil Nationals but Kurt Johnson prevented him...

Connolly runner-up at Brainerd; Moves to 8th in Countdown Standings

BRAINERD, Minn., August 10, 2008 -- Dave Connolly extended his Pro Stock round-win streak to seven in a row Sunday in the Lucas Oil Nationals but Kurt Johnson prevented him from making it eight in a row in the title round at Brainerd International Raceway.

By then, Connolly had already climbed into eighth place in NHRA Countdown to 10 standings and all but assured the Cagnazzi Racing Charter Communications/LifeLock Chevy Cobalt team of a place among the 10 starters for the Countdown to 1 championship playoff.

This was the talented team's fifth final round in its first 11 races. They started five races after their rivals.

It was a tight race between Connolly and Johnson, who crossed the finish line first in 6.671 seconds at 207.45 mph to Connolly's 6.696 at 206.29 mph.

"We just didn't have enough for him," said Connolly. "That is what's fun about this class. It's not just the driver, not just the crew, not just the engine guys, you have to have everything. We had a good day. We made it to the final."

Connolly's performance gives 775 points, 14 ahead of Cagnazzi Racing teammate Ron Krisher and 55 behind V Gaines in seventh place with two more races to go before the field is trimmed to 10. Jeg Coughlin, the third Cagnazzi Racing driver in the top 10, is fourth at 1,107 points.

"We may not have secured ourselves of a top 10 spot yet, but this really gave us a little cushion anyway after being on the edge of our seats all the time. It was a winning week for sure."

Connolly began his tough march to the title round by defeating Richie Stevens, 6.685 to 12.859, and then parlayed a .024-second reaction time to defeat Greg Anderson, 6.684 to 6.688. He got past Allen Johnson, 6.680 to 6.688, to make his 34th career final round.

"It was a tight drag race -- two good lights and two good runs -- we were just on the losing end of it," noted Connolly. "I've felt good behind the wheel in the last couple of weeks and I'm getting my confidence built up a little bit. Now we'll pack it up and go to Reading and see what happens."

-credit: j2r

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Kurt Johnson , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Allen Johnson , Dave Connolly