Connolly staying busy in Indy, qualifies for tough Pro Stock field
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Thirteen is Industrial Distribution Group (IDG) driver Dave Connolly's new lucky number.
The decorated drag racer qualified No. 13 for the 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus at Lucas Oil Raceway, getting in the field in the second session after a transmission issue in Q1.
Connolly, a two-time U.S. Nationals winner, had a best pass of 6.684 seconds at 206.61 mph, and his IDG Chevy will line up against No. 4 qualifier Jason Line, whose top lap was 6.646 at 208.52 mph.
"I'm confident we could've improved on that, but Mother Nature had other ideas," Connolly said. "That's OK. We'll work on our IDG Chevrolet and get it ready to go four rounds on Monday."
One Pro Stock qualifying session was cancelled when dew began forming on the track Saturday night, making racing impossible. Two more sessions were rained out Sunday.
"We had some things we wanted to work on, and of course I wanted some more seat time to work on my lights," Connolly said. "That being said, you can win from any position on the ladder, and that's the goal.
"I'd love to add a third U.S. Nationals Wally, but by no means will that be easy. We've got our work cut out for us tomorrow."
Connolly, who won "the Big Go" in 2007 and 2008, is racing in his third event of the season for Cagnazzi Racing and GK Motorsports. In his last event, Houston, Connolly raced to the final round. He's racing this weekend as a teammate to Erica Enders, who has won three of the last six Pro Stock events.
"This whole team has been working hard all year, and the performance shows with Erica's three wins," said Connolly, who tunes Enders car along with Tommy Utt. "We have a car that can compete for the victory tomorrow."
Connolly already has won one event this weekend, as his Berger Chevrolet GoPro COPO Camaro won the CC/SA class of Stock Eliminator. The new Camaro, carrying a "Grumpy's Toy" paint scheme in honor of the late Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, is racing for the first time in NHRA competition.
Connolly beat Jerry Emmons in the CC/SA final with a pass of 9.710 at 127.45 mph, topping Emmons' 10.437 at 118.99 mph. Connolly remains alive in Stock Eliminator and will face Jeg Coughlin Jr. in Round 4 when action resumes.
"It's been pretty cool to race the new car," Connolly said. "It's an awesome car straight from Chevrolet, and I'm lucky to win the class the first time out. I hope to
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