Seattle: Dave Connolly Saturday notes

Connolly maintains hold on top qualifying spot at Seattle SEATTLE, July 19, 2008 -- The weather changed Saturday, with sun replacing cooler clouds, but Dave Connolly stayed in the No. 1 Pro Stock starting position for Sunday's Schuck's Auto ...

Connolly maintains hold on top qualifying spot at Seattle

SEATTLE, July 19, 2008 -- The weather changed Saturday, with sun replacing cooler clouds, but Dave Connolly stayed in the No. 1 Pro Stock starting position for Sunday's Schuck's Auto Supply Nationals at Pacific Raceways.

Connolly, in pursuit of a coveted place in the POWERade Series top 10, drove the Cagnazzi Racing Charter Communications/LifeLock Chevy Cobalt to his quickest quarter-mile run of 6.573 seconds Friday night and that number was unbeatable Saturday. His last two passes were 6.650 and 6.629 seconds as veteran crew chief Tommy Utt dialed in what they hope will be a winning combination for eliminations.

"We are trying to get in the top 10 Countdown and every point is critical because we only have five races before they make the first cut to 10," said Connolly, "and we hope to be a part of that. To go out and pick up the No. 1 spot and get those extra eight points means a lot to us.

"We'll see what happens tomorrow, though. Sunday is our most important day. Each round counts for 20 points. We are playing catch up now and we have our work cut out for us. By the way things are going this weekend; we just hope to continue making good runs."

Connolly's showing came at the right time. He lost in the first round at Denver last week.

"What a difference a week makes," he said. "From last week to this week, our performance is a lot better and team morale is a lot higher now."

Connolly hopes the warm weather continues for at least one more day.

"Basically, our last run was all about race day setup," he pointed out. "It looks like the weather could get a little warmer for us. Tommy is usually tough on a hot track. Hopefully it's a beautiful sunny day for us tomorrow and we can go four rounds."

Connolly is 53 points out of 10th place. He races Ben Watson, the 16th qualifier, 6.725 seconds at 203.89 mph, in the opening round.

-credit: vcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ben Watson , Dave Connolly