Dave Connolly Loses by One-thousandth of Second to Richie Stevens BRISTOL, Tenn. - One-thousandth of a second prevented Dave Connolly from advancing in O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals competition Sunday at Bristol Dragway. It also helped...
Dave Connolly Loses by One-thousandth of Second to Richie Stevens
BRISTOL, Tenn. - One-thousandth of a second prevented Dave Connolly from advancing in O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals competition Sunday at Bristol Dragway. It also helped knock the Bullet Motorsports Pro Stock Chevrolet driver out of first place in NHRA POWERade Series competition.
That minuscule amount of time was Richie Stephens' winning margin in his quarterfinal match against Connolly in one of the closest races of the day.
Connolly, who claimed his second career No. 1 starting berth with a 6.813-second time in Saturday's only qualifying run of the event, opened eliminations with a 6.782-second, 204.08-mph quarter-mile pass against Ron Krisher, who fouled away his chances.
Crew chief Terry Adams made changes to the Cavalier for the run against Stephens and the performance improved. Connolly left the line sixth-thousandths of a second ahead of Stephens (.018-.022) and the two cars went side-by-side down the track.
At the finish line, the nose of Stephen's car reached the finish line one-thousandth of a second quicker. Stephens was timed in 6.750 seconds to 6.755 seconds for Connolly.
"It was a good race; it could've gone either way," Connolly said. "I let the clutch out and I thought the car ran well but he just ran a little better race."
Connolly, a two-time winner in six series events to date, slipped to second place when Warren Johnson won here, defeating Stevens in the finale. Johnson has 536 points to 486 for the Elyria, Ohio driver.
"We're only a quarter of the way through the season, so there's a long way to go" in the championship chase, added Connolly.
Inclement weather limited qualifying to just one run on Saturday, but Sunday was sunny
The team planned to stay in Bristol and test the new Chevrolet Cobalt. If it performs well, they will debut it at Atlanta, May 13-15.