JUPITER, Fla. --
Mon, 21 Dec 2015, 17:01 PM
Top Fuel Driver Dave Connolly Wins Points Championship
Courtesy of Ryan Loeb
In Rain Shortened Dick Moroso Memorial 5-Day Bracket Championship
On Wednesday, November 18 racing was plagued by numerous morning showers delaying time runs. At
around 1 pm the cars began to make their first passes only to be stopped again by rain. Once the
track was dried drivers were eager to get racing and test the surface for the first time.
Dave Connolly (AP Photo/Bryan Epps Photography)
As eliminations began just after 5 pm, drivers were fierce off the starting line with lightning
quick reactions times making the first round of eliminations intense. Just as everyone began to
fall into the racing rhythm with cars continuing to go down the track, everything was halted by
mother nature again. After surveying the track conditions, officials decided to stop racing for the
night and pick up in the morning.
Sean Lewis (AP Photo/Bryan Epps Photography)
When the morning arrived on Thursday it was a different story
concerning weather... the sun was shining! Racing quickly resumed with some racers starting to show
their prowess. Sean Lewis from Hampstead, Maryland had quick reaction times throughout the
eliminations going .000, .007, .003 only to be knocked out in Round 7. Lewis faced off against
fellow Maryland resident Bobby Spence of Woodbine. Spence went on to receive a bye run for the Semi
Finals while the No. 1 qualifier Luke Bogacki from Caterville, Illinois faced Peeps Pennington.
Bodacki went -.007 seconds on the light giving the win to Three Rivers, Texas resident Pennington.
Spence, dialing in at 5.86 seconds, now faced Pennington for the final, who dialed in at 5.86
seconds. Pennington fired off a .009 second reaction time and ended up taking the win light.
Race 2 started immediately following the completion of Race 1, allowing competitors only one time
run before going into eliminations. Kenny Underwood from Delaware, Ohio took the No. 1 qualifying
position in his 2015 Rattler while pulling double duty driving two cars. Underwood drove both his
race cars deep into the quarter finals where his 1967 Camaro got knocked out.
Dave Connolly of Bradenton, Florida made his way into the finals while continuing to lay down
consistent and fast reaction times, a skill he is famous for. Connolly dialing in at 5.91 seconds
faced off against Underwood who dialed in at 6.26 seconds for the finals. The pass was very close
with Connolly getting the win light. It was a huge celebration for Connolly as the win catapulted
him into the points lead as well.
Dave Connolly (AP Photo/Bryan Epps Photography)
As the sun rose on Saturday morning to get underway for Race 3,
the weather forecast again gave race officials an uneasy feeling with a very doubtful outlook of
getting any racing in on Sunday. Officials decided to pack Saturday with Race 3 and 4 in the hopes
of getting the most possible racing complete.
Race 3 started at 10 am and pairs of cars were going down the track every 45 seconds to minimize
downtime. Todd Ewing of Vinemont, Alabama took the No. 1 qualifying position and continued on to
make it into the finals. Points leader Dave Connolly was knocked out in Round 5, while Kenny
Underwood made it to the Quarter Finals securing both racers good points scoring positions.
Ewing faced off against Tommy Norton from Huntingtown, Maryland. Norton dialed in at 6.05 seconds
to that of Ewing at 5.98 seconds. Both reaction times were within .002 seconds but it was Norton
that took the win light running a 6.058 seconds at 167.63 mph.
Tommy Norton (AP Photo/Palm Beach International Raceway)
Race 4 started immediately following the completion of Race 3
on Saturday. At around 3 pm the storm scheduled for Sunday rolled in early halting all racing on
the drag strip. Rain continued into the evening hours and by all forecasts, was set to continue
well in Sunday. PBIR Officials decided to call Race 4 a rain out and cancel Race 5 entirely. The
decision was made in the best interests of the racers to allow them ample time to make the trip
Race 1: Peeps Pennington(5.95), 5.963 seconds, 157.21 mph def. Bobby Spence(5.86), 5.844, 170.39
Race 2: Dave Connolly(5.91), 5.924 seconds, 169.17 mph def. Kenny Underwood(6.26) 6.271 seconds,
Race 3: Tommy Norton(6.05), 6.058 seconds, 167.63 mph def. Todd Ewing(5.98), 6.010 seconds, 153.86
Points Champion: Dave Connolly - 232 Points
For complete race results click here.
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