Good Pre-season Outing Boosts Confidence Of Connolly, Adams, SKULL GEAR Team POMONA, Calif., Feb. 6, 2006 -- A good test outing at Las Vegas last weekend calmed the nerves of Dave Connolly, crew chief Terry Adams and the SKULL GEAR Pro Stock...
Good Pre-season Outing Boosts Confidence Of Connolly, Adams, SKULL GEAR Team
POMONA, Calif., Feb. 6, 2006 -- A good test outing at Las Vegas last weekend calmed the nerves of Dave Connolly, crew chief Terry Adams and the SKULL GEAR Pro Stock Chevrolet Cobalt team.
It was perfect timing, too. The 46th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals kicks off the 2006 NHRA POWERade Series campaign at Pomona, Calif., Thursday through Sunday, and Connolly is the defending Pro Stock champion.
"We were a little anxious going into Las Vegas because we hadn't done much testing this winter," said Adams. "We had some problems on our first couple runs, but then we got things straightened out. It was a relief. We feel we can go to Pomona now and be competitive."
Connolly's best run of the weekend, 6.769 seconds at 203.25 mph, was within striking distance of the weekend's best times. It also put him No. 3 in the lineup for a special 16-car event Saturday. The Elyria, Ohio, native advanced to the semifinals following a run of 6.784 seconds that beat category newcomer Max Naylor and a 6.790 in a win over Jim Yates.
""I was pretty happy with the way things went Saturday," said Connolly, who turned in some quick reaction times despite not spending a lot of test time behind the wheel. "I picked up right where I left off. It was good to get back to racing. The car was hooking up well and I think we'll be going into Pomona in good shape. I think we'll have a little more power by then, too."
Connolly led the title chase early last season and finished fifth overall. This year, he and Adams believe they'll be among a passel of challengers for the top spot.
"There are going to be a lot of good teams this year," said Connolly. " Several drivers stepped up already. I think there could be 10 different race winners with four or five teams running for the championship, and I hope we're one of them."
Adams was optimistic about the car's performance following the Las Vegas practice.
"We made six or seven consistent runs and now it's time take it to the race track and work on it," he said. "I think the car is more consistent now that it has ever been. That's what we need to do in Pro Stock. The first step is to get a car to do the same thing on every run, and it seems like we have a car that can, thanks to owner Evan Knoll, who provided everything we needed for the car."
A repeat Winternationals win certainly would add substance to their beliefs.