Richmond: Dave Connolly Saturday notes

Connolly faces Greg Stanfield in first round Dinwiddie/Richmond, Va., Oct. 11, 2008 -- Dave Connolly improved his provisional No. 1 qualifying time of Friday night with a quarter-mile run of 6.561 seconds Saturday and he will start fifth in ...

Connolly faces Greg Stanfield in first round

Dinwiddie/Richmond, Va., Oct. 11, 2008 -- Dave Connolly improved his provisional No. 1 qualifying time of Friday night with a quarter-mile run of 6.561 seconds Saturday and he will start fifth in Sunday's important Virginia Nationals eliminaitons at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Connolly drove the Cagnazzi Racing Lucas Oil/Charter Communications Chevy Cobalt to consisent times of 6.574 and 6.588 seconds but was forced to abort his final attempt when the tires shook early in the run. He coasted across the line in 16.471 seconds.

He meets Greg Stanfield (No. 12, 6.578 seconds) in a repeat of the opening round at Memphis two weeks ago. It is their fifth meeting this year, with Connolly holding a 3-1 edge, including a victory in the title round at Bristol, Tenn., in May, and at Memphis.

This is the fourth of six Countdown to the Championship races and Connolly needs to win rounds -- preferrably four -- on Sunday to keep his title aspirations. He is sixth with 2,183 points, 94 behind pacesetter and Cagnazzi Racing teammate Jeg Coughlin.

Asked what happened on Connolly's final quarter-mile lap, crew chief Tommy Utt smiled and said: "The driver said go for it, and I agreed. So we did, but instead of blowing the scoreboard down (with a No. 1 time), we almost ran over the Christmas Tree (when the car made a move to the left). We didn't quite have a handle on it."

The wily tuner will have a handle on the tune-up when the first round begins.

Coughlin qualified second (6.554 seconds at 209.10 mph). He missed the top spot on speed by .11 mph and races John Nobile (No. 15, 6.590 at 208.97 mph) while Ron Krisher, the third Cagnazzi Racing competitor, was 10th (6.571 at 209.17 mph). He faces Mike Edwards (No. 7, 6.567 at 209.17).

This was the quickest Pro Stock starting field in POWERade Series history and the first where all 16 car qualified in 6.5 seconds, from a low of 6.554 seconds to No. 16's 6.590.

-credit: gr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Nobile , Jeg Coughlin , Ron Krisher , Greg Stanfield , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards