Connolly Eyes Back-to-Back Pro Stock Wins at Texas Motorplex SKULL GEAR Chevy Cobalt's Performance on the Upswing Time is running out on Dave Connolly's goal of winning more NHRA POWERade Series Pro Stock races this season. Only four events ...
Connolly Eyes Back-to-Back Pro Stock Wins at Texas Motorplex
SKULL GEAR Chevy Cobalt's Performance on the Upswing
Time is running out on Dave Connolly's goal of winning more NHRA POWERade Series Pro Stock races this season.
Only four events remain, beginning with this weekend's O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis. Connolly already has two 2005 victories -- at Pomona, Calif., in February and Las Vegas in April -- to go with three second-place finishes, but there's always room for more trophies.
One of his five career wins came at the Motorplex last year and, with the performance of his SKULL GEAR Chevrolet Cobalt getting better, he'd like to make it a six pack.
"We're improving," said Connolly, coming off a close first-round loss at Reading, Pa., Sunday. "It's great to go back to a track where we did really good last year."
Connolly, 22, won three times and was a finalist last year in his first full season of Pro Stock competition.
After qualifying 11th, he marched through the field, beating reigning series champion Greg Anderson in the finals.He comes to the Dallas area fifth in points (1127) and gaining confidence in his Cobalt's ability to win races despite Sunday's early setback.
Although he began eliminations from the No. 9 position (6.760 seconds), Connolly and crew chief Terry Adams knew they should've run quicker in qualifying.
"Unfortunately, we had a little bad luck on Saturday's first qualifying session, the most important one of the weekend," Connolly said. "We broke two valve springs and ran our worst time of the weekend and didn't improve."
Connolly, one of the best when it comes to starting line reaction times, was beaten off the line by Larry Morgan in the opening round. Both cars ran 6.741 seconds, but the winning margin of eight-thousandths of a second came at the starting line. Morgan had a .013-second reaction time to Connolly's .021.
Cooler race-day weather made track conditions better than Adams expected. "I missed the tune-up down low (in first gear) on Sunday.JBut our performance was definitely on the recovery side. It's a shame those two valve springs broke on that one qualifying run. We'd have been qualified better, had lane choice and not run against Morgan in the first round."
"That was the first bad run we'd made in a couple of weeks," said Connolly. "That wasn't what we were looking for. We caught Larry at the wrong time. Every driver wants to get out (first against) me. Unfortunately, he did."
Connolly expects to bounce back at the Motorplex. This is the second of three races in three weeks as the season dwindles. Next week the SKULL GEAR team returns to Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., for the Ameriquest Nationals.