Seattle: Dave Connolly preview

Dave Connolly Looks for Continued Success at Seattle Ohio Pro Stock Driver Was Runner-up at Pacific Raceways Last Year SEATTLE - While many other Pro Stock drivers have triple digits under the heading of Career NHRA Races, Dave Connolly ...

Dave Connolly Looks for Continued Success at Seattle
Ohio Pro Stock Driver Was Runner-up at Pacific Raceways Last Year

SEATTLE - While many other Pro Stock drivers have triple digits under the heading of Career NHRA Races, Dave Connolly officially will have just 50 when he makes his first qualifying run Friday in the CarQuest Auto Parts Nationals at Pacific Raceways in nearby Kent.

This marks his third competitive trip to the Northwest in his burgeoning career and he's happy to be back. He was second here a year ago en route to a third-place finish in the final standings. It was his first of two consecutive final round appearances in the annual Western Swing. He was runner-up the next week at Sonoma, Calif.

"The Seattle track has been a pretty good one for us," said Connolly, at 22 the youngest Pro Stock driver in the POWERade Series top 10. "I'm excited about racing at the next two tracks."

The driver of the SKULL GEAR Chevrolet Cobalt is coming off an excellent performance at Denver Sunday. Using his quick starting line reaction times, he upset two favorites, No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson in the quarterfinals and Kurt Johnson in the semifinals. Connolly's elapsed time was slower in each race, but his reaction time was better.

He had a .007 reaction to Anderson's .041, winning in 7.213 seconds to Anderson's 7.188. Connolly's .010 coupled with a time of 7.199 seconds to end Johnson's title hopes, .033 at 7.184 seconds. In the title round against Warren Johnson, however, Connolly was a little too quick, fouling out by one-thousandth of a second.

It was, however, an excellent performance considering the tough racing conditions in the mile-high altitude.

"We can't go off anything we used in Denver because the cars are hard to run there," said Connolly, who has two victories in five final rounds this season. "But we started to make better runs in St. Louis (June 26). They'll continue to get better and better this week. The more runs we make, the better we're going to be. We still don't have a lot of runs on our Cobalt (that debuted seven races ago).

"'Grump' (engine builder Bill 'Grumpy' Jenkins) is getting a better handle on his motors but everybody else has stepped up lately. The power the motors in Warren and Kurt's (Johnson) and Greg (Anderson) and Jason's (Line) cars have makes them the ones to beat right now. And we beat two of them Sunday."

Connolly is fourth in points with 899.  Warren Johnson leads with 1030,
followed by Anderson (999) and Line (962).  Kurt Johnson is fifth (838).

Qualifying begins Friday with sessions at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m., followed by eliminations Sunday at 11 a.m.

Then the SKULL GEAR team heads for Sonoma and next week's Fram-Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway, July 29-31.

-jls-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Greg Anderson , Dave Connolly