Memphis: Dave Connolly preview

Confident Dave Connolly Ready to Resume Pro Stock Title Chase In case you haven't been paying attention to the intriguing championship hunt currently underway in NHRA's Pro Stock category, Dave Connolly continues to grab the spotlight from the...

Confident Dave Connolly Ready to Resume Pro Stock Title Chase

In case you haven't been paying attention to the intriguing championship hunt currently underway in NHRA's Pro Stock category, Dave Connolly continues to grab the spotlight from the two season-long pacesetters, teammates Jason Line and Greg Anderson.

But what Connolly definitely prefers over the spotlight is the POWERade Series championship and he positioned himself for a solid stretch run by defeating Line in the title round at Brainerd, Minn., Sunday. Connolly still trails Line by 108 points (1149-1041) in the run for the top spot, but he's now only 25 points behind Anderson, the reigning and three-time champion.

The chase resumes this weekend in the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park in what likely will be steamy (hot and humid) racing conditions. It is the 17th of 23 series races.

That Connolly, 23, and his SKULL Gear Chevy Cobalt teammates are in title contention is a demonstration of their resiliency and the excellent work of crew chief Tommy Utt. Ten races ago, Connolly was 12th in points and after not qualifying for the second time in six events. Utt took over and Connolly took off.

Sunday's triumph was the fourth by Connolly (tops in Pro Stock this year) since Utt's arrival.

"I think Sunday was probably one of our better wins . . . although there aren 't any bad wins," said Connolly, who also had one runner-up earlier in the year. "This one stands out because everything just clicked. The car was good and I was driving good.

"I think we probably had the best car. We were able to run with Jason in the final. Tommy kept making changes and we kept making headway all weekend."

Now they would like to repeat that outstanding performance at Memphis, and Indianapolis, Reading, Pa., Dallas, Richmond, Va., Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif. If they do, Connolly may wind up with a championship.

-credit: dcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Greg Anderson , Jason Line , Dave Connolly