Dave Connolly Beats Rain, Allen Johnson For Pro Stock Victory at Seattle SEATTLE, July 22, 2007 -- Neither rain nor Allen Johnson prevented Dave Connolly from capturing his third NHRA Pro Stock victory of the season and 12th of his career ...
Dave Connolly Beats Rain, Allen Johnson For Pro Stock Victory at Seattle
SEATTLE, July 22, 2007 -- Neither rain nor Allen Johnson prevented Dave Connolly from capturing his third NHRA Pro Stock victory of the season and 12th of his career Sunday at Pacific Raceways.
Connolly needed a track-record performance to end Johnson's seven-round win streak, recording a 6.649-second elapsed time at 206.20 mph to a trailing 6.682 at 206.23.
The victory, from the No. 1 qualifying position, also secured a berth in the Countdown to Eight portion of NHRA's new championship format. All on a day when it once appeared inclement weather would prevent the race from beginning, much less finishing.
"It was a good day," said Connolly, driver of Evan Knoll's Torco Racing Fuels Chevy Cobalt. "We only got one (qualifying run) because of the rain but Tommy (Utt, team crew chief) hit the track conditions at where we were supposed to be during eliminations. We actually missed the setup a little bit in the semifinals and he came back and just swung for the fences on our last run and set the track record and saved me a little bit.
"I was decent on the 'Tree but AJ (Allen Johnson) was on his game with a teen (.019 seconds). He had a hundredth (of a second lead) on the starting line but our car made up for it and I couldn't think of a better time but the final to make a run like that."
A steady rain washed out Friday's two qualifying runs and a third on Saturday, but Connolly made his lone run the best with a 6.664-second, 206.42-mph effort.
Connolly began the march to the title by defeating Erica Enders (6.691, 206.73 to 6.708, 205.88), Max Naylor (6.668, 206.51 to 6.672, 204.48) and Bob Panella (6.671, 206.54 to 6.673, 205.88). The Elyria, Ohio native now has won two the last four races. He maintained his solid hold on third place with 1003 and is now within 26 points of Victor Cagnazzi Racing teammate Jeg Coughlin.
Connolly and the team move to Sonoma, Calif., for the final event in the demanding schedule of six straight races. He is the defending Pro Stock champion.