Dave Connolly Sharpens Reaction Times in Time for CSK Nationals PHOENIX, -- Bravo! Foods International Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: BRVO): Paying attention to the little things -- like working on an off-weekend to improve certain facets of your ...
Dave Connolly Sharpens Reaction Times in Time for CSK Nationals
PHOENIX, -- Bravo! Foods International Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: BRVO): Paying attention to the little things -- like working on an off-weekend to improve certain facets of your talent -- is a necessary ingredient in any recipe that produces a championship.
Dave Connolly, for example, wants to be the 2007 NHRA Pro Stock champion. Connolly, driver of the TORCO/Slammers Ultimate Milk Chevy Cobalt, has been touted as a champion of the future. At 24, he is one of the youngest regulars in what is arguably NHRA's most evenly-matched category.
Unhappy with his starting-line prowess and semifinal finish in the season-opening Winternationals (Feb. 11 at Pomona, Calif.), Connolly did something about it. And the results of an NHRA Sportsman race win at Bradenton, Fla., Monday may reach all the way to the title round of the Checkers Schuck's Kragen Nationals, Feb. 23-25, at Firebird Raceway.
Connolly, who has a reputation as one of the quickest drivers leaving the starting line, had it working in Super Gas. His .005 (second) reaction time in the seventh round of eliminations led to the race win over Scot La Mar, who fouled out by two-thousandths of a second. La Mar, incidentally, is the brother of Connolly's girlfriend Jenny.
At Pomona, Connolly had a .025 reaction time against eventual winner Greg Anderson's .005 in the semis and never was able to challenge for the win.
"I'm excited to be going to Phoenix," said Connolly. "We are running pretty strong but I felt the guy behind the wheel needed to do better. That Super Comp race got me on my toes again. I can apply some of the things I do in the Super Comp car to my Slammers Chevy Cobalt."
Connolly is a nine-time winner in 20 final rounds who has been impressive since making his Pro Stock debut in 2003. He finished third in points in 2004 and 2006 and was fifth in 2005.
His consistent qualifying runs of 6.656, 6.657, 6.680 and 6.685 seconds at Pomona earned crew chief Tommy Utt and the crew NHRA's Full Throttle Pit Crew championship and a $1500 bonus.
Connolly and Jeg Coughlin Jr., his Slammers Ultimate Milk teammate, qualified fourth and sixth, respectively, at Pomona. Coughlin's Chevy Cobalt suffered engine problems that sidelined him in the quarterfinals. Connolly is fourth with 75 points and Coughlin is fifth with 54.
"We'd like to qualify in the top four cars and see if we can keep lane choice during the race," added Connolly. "Phoenix can be tricky at times. Competition is so close that one-thousandth of a second comes into play . . . and the lanes aren't always the same."
Qualifying begins Friday with sessions at 1:30 and 4 p.m. and concludes with runs Saturday at noon at 2:30 p.m. Eliminations start at 11 a.m. Sunday.