ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals
Coughlin ends Connolly's title chances
Connolly entered the event in third place, 79 points behind Coughlin, knowing Coughlin needed to lose early. Connolly qualified ninth and defeated Warren Johnson in the first round while Coughlin ousted Rickie Jones to set up the confrontation.
Coughlin had a .014 reaction to Connolly's .025 and his Lucas Oil/Charter Communications Chevy Cobalt couldn't make up the difference. The winning time was 6.710 seconds at 204.70 mph to 6.717 at 205.54 mph.
"We put ourselves in that position by struggling through qualifying," said a disappointed Connolly, "and we just went up against the wrong guy. In all reality, that was the situation we wanted to be in. We wanted to have control over the situation. We just didn't do a good enough job. He did a better job and he deserved to win. We'll cheer him on in the next couple of rounds and go to
Connolly's team didn't know if it could qualify for the six-race playoffs, much less be a title contender, when they began competing five races into the season. But he went to the finals in seven of the next 13 races and finished sixth. He won once in the first five Countdown to 1 races.
"It's been a real good year, especially where we started from," Connolly said. "Now we are going to try and finish as high as we can. If things go right, Jeg and I will finish one and two."
Return to Team Reports Archive
Return to the Home Page