Joliet: GM Racing Saturday summary

Connolly Claims $50,000 King Demon Crown Chevy Cobalt Visits Winner's Circle For First Time JOLIET, Ill., June 11, 2005 - A new king has been crowned, and his name is Dave Connelly. Actually, Connolly's the winner of The King Demon Crown, a ...

Connolly Claims $50,000 King Demon Crown
Chevy Cobalt Visits Winner's Circle For First Time

JOLIET, Ill., June 11, 2005 - A new king has been crowned, and his name is Dave Connelly. Actually, Connolly's the winner of The King Demon Crown, a non-points bonus Pro Stock event held today in conjunction with this weekend's 8th annual CARQUEST NHRA Summer Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. The King Demon Crown features the top eight Pro Stock drivers who have accumulated the moist points in qualifying during the past year in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series with $50,000 going to the winner. Drivers began earning points beginning with this race at Route 66 Raceway last year, accumulating points up through the O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Topeka two weeks ago.

Connolly drove his Torco Gear Chevy Cobalt past Jason Line's Summit Racing Pontiac in the finals after Line had a red-light start. Connolly put the new Chevy Cobalt in the winner's circle for the first time with an elapsed time of 6.823 seconds at 202.55 mph. Line jumped the start with a - .020 reaction time. It was a small bit of revenge for Connolly who lost to Line's teammate Greg Anderson in the King Demon Crown finals last year by .0001 seconds.

"I thought we were done," said Connolly. "I thought I hit the tree good for once the whole day, and then I hit fifth gear and I looked over and he was already around us by a lot. I looked up at the scoreboard and saw the win light, and I about shut it off and pulled the shoot because I was so excited. You don't really see a lot of red-lights in Pro Stock, but I think you will more and more because all the drivers are turning it up so much. The cars are running so close, and that's where you have to learn how to race, at the starting line. Everybody's stepping up to the plate and tightening up the bulbs, and that stuff's going to happen. That's just a part of racing.

"With what this team's been through the last couple of weeks, to come out here and perform like they did at Topeka (Connolly was runner-up to Anderson) and to then come out here and win the King Demon Crown - what a great team. Fred (Simmonds) said something about a first Cobalt win in Topeka, but I forgot about it. Extra thanks to GM for all of the help that they give us."

In the first round of today's King Demon Crown, Kurt Johnson in the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt bested last year's King Demon Crown winner, Greg Anderson, in his Pontiac with an elapsed time of 6.769 seconds at 204.08 mph to Anderson's 6.773 and 203.34. Connolly drove his Chevy Cobalt past Mike Edwards' Pontiac with an elapsed time of 6.799 seconds at 202.73 mph to a 6.826 and 201.97 for Edwards. In the bottom half of the bracket Jason Line in a Pontiac beat Kenny Koretsky with a 6.784 e.t. and 202.42 mph to a 6.862 and 201.58 for Koretsky, and Jeg Coughlin defeated Larry Morgan with a 6.814 e.t . at 201.97 mph to a foul start for Morgan.

In the semifinals, Connolly ran an elapsed time of 6.819 seconds at 202.24 mph to Kurt Johnson's 6.835 e.t. at 203.58 mph to reach the King Demon Crown finals for the second consecutive year. Line drove his Pontiac around Jeg Coughlin in the other semifinals with an elapsed time of 6.797 seconds at 202.97 mph to Coughlin's 6.811 at 203.03.

Connolly claimed the $50,000 winner's check and will receive a $25,000 "double-up" bonus from NHRA if he wins tomorrow's eliminations. He is qualified fifth and faces off against V. Gaines in the first round tomorrow. Line received $10,000 for his runner-up effort.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Kurt Johnson , Greg Anderson , Kenny Koretsky , Jason Line , Mike Edwards , Dave Connelly