Las Vegas: Dave Connolly final summary

Dave Connolly Wins at Vegas; Takes Pro Stock Points Lead LAS VEGAS - Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly thought he might have good luck at Las Vegas last year when he was 21, but he didn't get past the second round in both races at The Strip at Las...

Dave Connolly Wins at Vegas; Takes Pro Stock Points Lead

LAS VEGAS - Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly thought he might have good luck at Las Vegas last year when he was 21, but he didn't get past the second round in both races at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Connolly hit the jackpot here Sunday, however, dominating the SummitRacing.com Nationals. And luck really didn't figure into it.

The driver from Elyria, Ohio, was virtually untouchable during another hot (temperatures in the high 80s) day. He had the quickest elapsed time in each elimination round en route to his second win of the season. It was his third title round in five 2005 events and the victory boosted him back into the POWERade Series lead, 428-419, over Warren Johnson.

With horsepower supplied by veteran engine builder and drag racing icon Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins and Chevrolet Cavalier tune-ups from wily crew chief Terry Adams, Connolly and the crew of the Mike Dzurilla-owned Bullet Motorsports never missed a beat.

Connolly capped an impressive performance against rival Greg Anderson, who had won 19 straight rounds of racing at LVMS while winning two straight series championships. Anderson's streak came tumbling down, thanks to Connolly's .028-second reaction time and a 6.879-second, 201.46 mph quarter-mile run. Anderson never was in contention with a 6.955 at 200.77.

"To outrun Greg like we did in the finals is a big boost for the whole Bullet Motorsports team," said Connolly.

"Grump made a few changes to the motor Saturday and it really responded," continued Connolly, who now has five Pro Stock wins in 11 finals. More impressively, it was the ninth time he's been to the finals in the last 15 races and it was his fourth decision in six finals against Anderson.

"Grump, Terry and the whole team did a great job," said Connolly, of Elyria, Ohio. "I can't say enough about the whole team. The car was like a Pro Stock bracket car all day."

There wasn't an easy rival in any of the first three rounds either.

First up was Jason Line, No. 4 in points and driver who defeated Connolly in the Gainesville, Fla. finals last month. Connolly, who was on his game at the starting line, too, left with a .010-second reaction time and won, 6.869 seconds at 201.19 mph to 6.893 at 200.59. Kurt Johnson, 10th in points, was next. Connolly hit the finish line first, 6.874 at 201.34 to 6.920 at 200.92.

In the semifinals against Greg Stanfield, Connolly's battle plan stayed in tact with a winning time of 6.874 at 201.46 to 6.930 at 200.44.

The only negative in the day was that the Cavalier Connolly has driven for almost two years will be retired. Its replacement, a Chevrolet Cobalt, will make its appearance at the Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol, Tenn., April 29-May 1.

"We have to put the car cover over the Cavalier but the Cobalt should be better," Connolly added. "It was a great to go out with a big bang."

-jls-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Greg Anderson , Greg Stanfield , Terry Adams , Jason Line , Dave Connolly