MEMPHIS, September 14, 2007 - NHRA Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly proved his Pro Stock win at the prestigious U.S. Nationals at Indy two weeks ago was no fluke as he put his Chevy on the provisional pole after two rounds of qualifying for this ...
MEMPHIS, September 14, 2007 - NHRA Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly proved his Pro Stock win at the prestigious U.S. Nationals at Indy two weeks ago was no fluke as he put his Chevy on the provisional pole after two rounds of qualifying for this weekend's 20th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park. Connolly drove his Torco Racing Fuels/Seelye Wright Chevy Cobalt to a track-record elapsed time of 6.673 seconds at 205.26 mph to get past the Dodge of Larry Morgan. Morgan had a 6.688 e.t. at 205.29 mph, and Greg Anderson in the Summit Racing Pontiac GTO was the highest-qualified Pontiac in the No. 3 spot with a 6.695 e.t. at a track-record speed of 205.51 mph.
"We knew as soon as the sun went down that the track was going to get pretty good," Connolly said. "That kind of had us worried because we've been having problems when the track's too good. We seem to have a handle on that, so the only thing we need to do to our Chevy Cobalt is put an A.C. unit in it, but other than that we're not touching it. It's a good feeling to just be a part of this team right now. The new championship points system kind of worked to our favor, so we'll just have to pick up the ball and run with it."
With his win at Indy, the first of four races in the second segment of the new Countdown to the Championship, Connolly entered this weekend's race at Memphis with a 14-point lead over Anderson. He will be looking to hold on for his second No. 1 qualifier of the season (Seattle) after two more rounds of qualifying tomorrow.
"Indy was a big race for us, especially with the Countdown," Connolly said. "We only have four races to stay in the top-four cars, so to get four round wins at Indy was pretty special, and then to come here and pick up the momentum and sit on the pole on the first day was pretty good. We went to Farmington, a local track nearby the shop in Mooresville (N.C.), and we did a bunch of testing. Like I said before, when the track gets as good as it did tonight, that's when we've been having some problems. It appears we might have gotten that problem fixed.
"I'm looking forward to racing - it seems like we have a car that will go down any track now and that's going to be key. Track conditions vary from (track) to (track), and I think we have a real good race car now. I think the weather conditions will probably get a lot better tomorrow, so we'll see what the weather is and kind of adjust from there. A lot of guys are running good. Greg (Anderson) always runs good, and Larry Morgan's running good, but I like our chances right now. We'll just have to see what tomorrow brings (in track condition) because it will probably be a totally different day."
Jim Yates in the WileyX/Sea Ray Boats Pontiac GTO continues to run strong and qualified fourth with an elapsed time of 6.697 seconds at 205.07 seconds, and Kurt Johnson in the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt joined Connolly in the top half of the field with an elapsed time of 6.709 seconds at 205.76 mph to qualify sixth.
-credit: gm racing