Team Chevy's Dave Connolly No. 1 Qualifier at 20th annual Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals Third career raceday pole for Torco Racing Fuels Chevrolet driver SEATTLE, July 21, 2007 - Team Chevy's Dave Connolly earned his first Pro Stock No. 1...
Team Chevy's Dave Connolly No. 1 Qualifier at 20th annual Schuck's Auto
Supply NHRA Nationals
Third career raceday pole for Torco Racing Fuels Chevrolet driver
SEATTLE, July 21, 2007 - Team Chevy's Dave Connolly earned his first Pro Stock No. 1 qualifying award of the season after driving the Torco Racing Fuels Chevrolet Cobalt to a 6.664 elapsed time at 206.42 mph at the 20th annual Schuck's Auto Supply Nationals at Pacific Raceways. Unremitting rain showers forced the NHRA to set the Sunday eliminator fields on one qualifying session, and that was completed on Saturday afternoon.
"We changed our combination from Denver to Seattle Thursday and picked up where we left off," said the Elyria, Ohio, native. "Tommy Utt, our crew chief, set the car up to go down the track in a fashionable manor, which it did."
It was Connolly's third career raceday pole and his first since the 2005 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tenn.).
"This race was just like the one in Bristol (2005) when we had one qualifying run and I was No. 1," said Connolly. "We would've liked one more run Saturday, but we'll take it. Our team picked up $3000 as the low qualifier and $1500 from the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge, so it already has been a good weekend."
Kurt Johnson earned his best starting-day position this season after qualifying the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt in the No. 3 spot with a 6.677 second run at 207.02 mph.
"We're pretty happy to come out here and put our ACDelco Cobalt in the third starting spot," said Johnson. "Of course, facing the possibility of only one attempt, it was more a matter of going from A to B than it was going for the throat. Our team seems to be on an upswing, going from starting fifth in Bristol, to fourth in Denver, and then third here, so we're pretty pumped up heading into race day, whenever that happens.
"Today's run wasn't bad, and realistically we feel that we left three hundredths on the table. With a gear ratio change and attacking the starting line a little bit more, we might have gone 6.64 or 6.65. We would have liked to have made that second run, but we're certainly happy with what we got.
"Although we only had one crack at it, the track wasn't bad today, even after the rain. But with the forecast calling for even more tomorrow, who knows what kind of surface we'll have to race on, or even when we'll race, so we're going to play things by ear. Being third will also work in our favor there, because we will have the luxury of choosing when we want to run, and we'll want to have as many cars go down the track before us as possible. With so many things working for us, we'll have to make sure and take advantage of them."
Greg Anderson has the quickest Pontiac in the field and is qualified in the No. 5 position. Anderson's Summit Racing GTO made the field with a 6.688 e.t. at 207.18 mph. The three-time POWERade champion qualified for his 107th consecutive national event on Saturday and he will be competing in his 450th career round of eliminations on Sunday.
"It's disappointing," said Anderson in regards to only having one qualifying pass. "We want as many runs as we can get to perfect our setup. We wanted to be conservative that first run because we knew that we were only going to have one or two shots. Now we've got to go into race day not knowing what the track will hold but everybody is in the same boat." Warren Johnson is qualified in the No. 7 position in the GM Performance Parts Pontiac with a 6.689 second run at 206.26 mph and Jim Yates rounds out the top half of the field in a Pontiac with a 6.690 e.t. at 206.01 mph.
"We left a little bit on the table, but I'm sure everyone else was in the same boat," said Johnson. "We're not about to complain. It was a decent run, and we know how to fix our GM Performance Parts GTO to make it even better. If the track doesn't turn completely to buttermilk we should be in good shape whenever we finally race."
Jason Line is qualified in the No. 11 position in a Pontiac, Jeg Coughlin Jr. is 12th in a Chevrolet, Greg Stanfield is 14th in a Pontiac and Justin Humphreys is 15th in a Pontiac.
In Funny Car, Tony Bartone has the best-qualified Chevrolet in the field, and he will line up on the ladder in the No. 4 position with a 4.868 second run at 298.60 mph. Tommy Johnson Jr. has the Skoal Racing Chevy Impala qualified in the No. 6 spot with a 4.887 e.t. at 287.90 mph.
-credit: gm racing