Connolly hopes to continue impressive Reading run
MOHNTON, PA – Industrial Distribution Group (IDG) driver Dave Connolly is determined to go out swinging for the fences in what could be his final race as a driver this season.
Connolly qualified No. 3 for the 28th annual Uni-Select Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway and is determined to do well here - again.
The decorated racer won in Reading in 2007 and 2010 and raced to the final round in 2008, meaning he's reached the finals the last three times he's raced at Maple Grove. The other years he wasn't competing.
"It'll be a long, tough day, but I hope to keep my streak going Sunday," Connolly said. "I like this race track, obviously, and (fellow GK Motorsports crew chief) Tommy (Utt) and I seem to have a pretty good handle on this place. Tomorrow could be another good day."
Connolly's top lap of 6.539 seconds at 211.76 mph temporarily put him atop the Pro Stock chart in the final qualifying session. But teammate Erica Enders - for whom Connolly and Utt serve as crew chief - went .001 seconds quicker, and then Jason Line grabbed the No. 1 spot.
That puts Connolly against Frank Gugliotta in the first round of eliminations Sunday, and should Connolly advance, he'll face either Allen Johnson or Vincent Nobile in the second round. Johnson is the points leader, while Nobile is fourth, one spot behind Enders in the Pro Stock points standings.
"The ladder finally worked out well for us," Connolly said. "Erica and I are on the same side, but we can't worry about that yet. I've got to get by Frank first, and even then I'll have AJ or Vincent. We've got to go to work tomorrow and do some damage for Erica - and ourselves."
Connolly is racing in his seventh event of 2012, and he has one victory - the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals - and one other final-round appearance. Connolly continues to improve the performance of the IDG Chevrolet, as the No. 3 qualifying spot was his best of the season.