Memphis: Dave Connolly final report

Dave Connolly Beats Anderson in Memphis Finals for Third Straight Pro Stock Victory Dave Connolly continued his impressive ride through the rugged Pro Stock field Sunday at Memphis Motorsports Park, capturing his third straight POWERade Series...

Dave Connolly Beats Anderson in Memphis
Finals for Third Straight Pro Stock Victory

Dave Connolly  continued his impressive ride through the rugged Pro Stock
field Sunday at  Memphis Motorsports Park, capturing his third straight POWERade
Series victory  and second in a row over career-long nemesis Greg Anderson in
the final round of  the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals.

With that, the Elyria, Ohio, native moved 33 points ahead of Anderson -- 2,291-2,258 -- as NHRA's Countdown to Four championship series reached its halfway point.

"I've  never won three straight races in my career," said Connolly, driver
of Evan  Knoll's Torco Racing Fuels Chevy Cobalt for Victor Cagnazzi Racing.
He now  has a career-best six victories in 2007 and 15 in 27 title rounds.

"Our team is just on a roll right now, he continued. "Victor has supplied us with a great car and great motors and our crew chief, Tommy Utt, is definitely taking advantage of it. He is a very talented guy and I'm just thankful he gets to show off his skills.

"Our  team chemistry is improving and we just keep jelling and jelling and
here we are  in the second season and everything is just clicking right now, and
I hope it  doesn't quit.  We have very important races coming up.  We
clinched a  spot in the second cut for the championship and we are definitely going
to have  a go at it for the championship in the last two races at Las Vegas and
Pomona  (Calif.)."
Connolly left the starting line first in the final round  against Anderson --
.022 seconds to .030 -- and never let the former series  champion catch up.
"Both of our cars were skating around off  the starting line," said
Connolly, who lit the win light in 6.648 seconds at  207.29 mph while Anderson crossed
in 6.658 seconds, 208.65 mph.  "It was  pretty wild, but it was a fun ride.
"The Countdown is tough because  every race is important.  We came into the
first two races and we knew they  were going to be important ones. We didn't
want to get behind, fighting for  fourth or fifth and possibly not make it.  To
come out here and perform so  well and go out and win the first two races is
just incredible for  us."

Connolly notched his ninth straight round win in fine style with a .006-second reaction time -- the quickest of the eliminations -- against Craig Hankinson. He was timed in 6.620 seconds at 207.72 to 6.673 at 207.02 mph. Richie Stevens couldn't halt the Connolly blitz in the quarterfinals, 6.632 at 208.04 to 6.741 at 206.89.

In the  semifinals, the yellow and black Cobalt eliminated Jim Yates, 6.632,
207.69 to  6.683 at 206.64.
As for his rivalry with Anderson, Connolly said,  "I started to look back
three or four years ago when I was starting my career  and every time I got to
the final, Greg Anderson beat us. And here we are a few  years later we've
gotten the last two wins against him.  It's  remarkable."

-credit: ekr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Greg Anderson , Dave Connolly