Connolly Loses to Rickie Smith in Battle of SKULL GEAR Teams POMONA, Calif., Nov. 6, 2005 -- Somehow, Dave Connolly's first-round Pro Stock loss to Rickie Smith in the Auto Club Finals at Pomona Raceway put a fitting farewell to a somewhat...
Connolly Loses to Rickie Smith in Battle of SKULL GEAR Teams
POMONA, Calif., Nov. 6, 2005 -- Somehow, Dave Connolly's first-round Pro Stock loss to Rickie Smith in the Auto Club Finals at Pomona Raceway put a fitting farewell to a somewhat strange 2005 POWERade Series season in a battle of SKULL GEAR-sponsored Chevrolet Cobalts.
Connolly, who won many rounds with his quick reaction times, received of bit of his own medicine from Smith, a winner with a time of 6.767 seconds at 204.05 mph. Connelly crossed the finish line in 6.755 at 204.51 mph. Smith used a .013-second reaction to Connolly's .059 to advance to the second round.
"I just messed up," said a dejected Connolly. "We're going to put this season behind us, take some time off and then begin getting ready for 2006."
The new year should be much better than the old one. On the plus side, Evan Knoll purchased the team after it was folded at mid-season and kept all the members; Connolly won twice (Pomona in February and Las Vegas in April); led the series several times; won $50,000 in the King Demon special event; and finished fifth with 1294 points.
On the opposite side, the team's future was in doubt B.K. (before Knoll), and they struggled in the last half of the season when the new Cobalt's performance waned.
Crew chief Terry Adams, like Connolly, was more than happy to bid adieu to the season, but he doesn't plan to wait long before launching into 2006 racing mode.
"In the last couple races we were able to finally find and fix some things on the car," Adams said. "We're going to start working on next year next week. I plan to run the wheels off the car this winter.
"Better things are ahead . . . and all of us on this team want to thank Evan Knoll for believing in us and sticking with us. We are looking forward to 2006."
The Winternationals open the new campaign at Pomona, Feb. 9-12.