Las Vegas II: Dave Connolly Saturday notes

Connolly ninth at Vegas, could race Jeg Coughlin in quarterfinals; Title hopes could hinge on Connolly racing Cagnazzi Racing teammate LAS VEGAS, November 1, 2008 -- Dave Connolly's opportunity to erase a significant portion of Jeg Coughlin's...

Connolly ninth at Vegas, could race Jeg Coughlin in quarterfinals; Title hopes could hinge on Connolly racing Cagnazzi Racing teammate

LAS VEGAS, November 1, 2008 -- Dave Connolly's opportunity to erase a significant portion of Jeg Coughlin's NHRA POWERade Series Pro Stock point lead could come in Sunday's second round of the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Connolly, driving the Cagnazzi Racing Lucas Oil/Charter Communications Chevy Cobalt, trails Coughlin by 79 points with eight rounds remaining. Connolly's best qualifying run of 6.736 seconds at 204.73 mph was ninth overall and puts him against veteran Warren Johnson (eighth, 6.735 at 205.07) in Sunday's opening round. Coughlin races No. 16 Rickie Jones (6.758 at 202.64).

Should Connolly and Coughlin win, the showdown will be on.

"This would be a perfect position for us if we were running well," said Connolly. "In order to win the championship, you have to control your own destiny and facing Jeggie in the second round is a possibility. That would be perfect circumstances, but if we don't pick up the pace and start running a little better, we're not going to beat him; he's running too strong.

"We have to find the few hundredths (of a second) we are giving up on the track right now. We'll try to do some homework and find out why we aren't running better. We will give it our best shot on Sunday."

Connolly has been playing catchup after missing the season's first five races. He qualified sixth in the regular season and secured the third spot with a victory three weeks ago in Richmond, Va.

-credit: vcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Warren Johnson , Dave Connolly , Rickie Jones