Madison: Dave Connolly final summary

Connolly Drives Torco Gear Cobalt into Semifinals at St. Louis MADISON, Ill. - Dave Connolly found it easy to smile Sunday afternoon after reaching the Pro Stock semifinals of the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway (near...

Connolly Drives Torco Gear Cobalt into Semifinals at St. Louis

MADISON, Ill. - Dave Connolly found it easy to smile Sunday afternoon after reaching the Pro Stock semifinals of the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway (near St. Louis) for the first time in three races. It marked the second time in six outings that Connolly has advanced past the first two rounds.

"We haven't been past second round in a while," said Connolly, 22, driver of the Torco Gear Chevrolet Cobalt. "It was a good weekend. The team did a good job. I never had a question about what this team could do."

Connolly, coming off a first round finish last Sunday at Englishtown, N.J., showed the form that helped him win two races and finish second twice in the first 12 events.

He gained a measure of revenge for last Sunday's first-round setback by beating Rickie Smith in the opening round here (6.796 seconds at 203.03 mph to 6.835 at 203.12). And then he ousted Warren Johnson, who came into this race as the Pro Stock point leader, in the quarterfinals, using a much better starting line reaction time.

Connolly's .005 of a second reaction time put him far enough in front of Johnson (.058) that Johnson couldn't catch him, despite running a quicker elapsed time. Connolly lit the win light in 6.793 seconds to Johnson's 6.744 at 204.23 mph. The winning margin was only four-thousandths of a second.

In the semifinals, it was Anderson who left first and reached the finish line first, 6.757 at 203.98 mph to 6.770 at 203.68 mph.

"We made a beautiful run, it just wasn't enough," said Connolly. "Greg had us covered by about two-hundredths (of a second) all weekend."

Connolly is fourth in Pro Stock points with 807. He returns to competition at Denver, July 15-17.

-jls-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , Rickie Smith , Dave Connolly