Charlotte: Dave Connolly Saturday notes

It's Connolly vs. Greg Anderson in crucial Sunday opening round; One title contender will suffer as Countdown to 1 begins six-race series CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 13, 2008 -- Dave Connolly's ninth-place starting berth for Sunday's first Carolina ...

It's Connolly vs. Greg Anderson in crucial Sunday opening round; One title contender will suffer as Countdown to 1 begins six-race series

CONCORD, N.C., Sept. 13, 2008 -- Dave Connolly's ninth-place starting berth for Sunday's first Carolina Nationals sets up one of the powerhouse pairings in the first of six NHRA Countdown to the championship races. His rival is No. 8 qualifier Greg Anderson, the point leader through the 18-race regular season.

Connolly's best time came on Saturday's first lap, 6.697 seconds at 206.70 mph. Anderson had an identical elapsed time but earned the higher position because his 207.11 mph was faster.

"We have a big day Sunday," said Connolly, driver of the Mooresville-based Cagnazzi Racing Charter Communications/Lucas Oil Chevy Cobalt. "Why not start against Greg right away? It would be a great way to start.

"It's not liked we planned this. Both of our teams are better than (qualifying) eighth and ninth."

Connolly begins the Countdown in sixth place, 70 points behind Anderson (2,290-2,220).

"We didn't make the best of runs Saturday, but it's time to do better Sunday. We have a good shot to make up a lot of points. We definitely want to get off to a good start in the Countdown. This race is huge."

-credit: vcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Greg Anderson , Dave Connolly