There are a lot of eyes on race drivers – more so when you’re the first to race a legendary re-release after 43 years. So what is that pressure like for a driver? We sat down with NHRA/IDG driver, Dave Connolly, to find out what it means to be the man behind the wheel of the newly re-released Chevy Camaro COPO.
How did it feel when you found out you would be driving the COPO?
Pretty incredible. And it’s even better because it’s a tribute to Bill Murphy Jenkins – a leader in pro-stock. He’s known for drive pump, strut front ends . . . more influential than almost anyone.
Tell us about the competition.
It’s tough. I’m driving against 5 world champions and I’ve never raced stock before.
So what did you do to prepare for Indy that’s different than your other races?
Honestly, we didn’t have much time. I was able to make 4 or 5 runs on Friday before Monday’s race and have been preparing mentally. That’s it.
And your initial thoughts?
It’s great down-track – and comfortable like a Cadillac . . . with better performance. We had a couple of mishaps – a shifter problem in the 1st run kept the car stuck in 4th gear. But it’s all trial and error – mechanics and team effort.
What is the most important part of belonging to a team?
Well, my dad was in the business, so I’ve grown up around cars and racing – since I was 10. I’ve been on several teams and every part is important. Both sides are interesting . . . I do love being in the driver’s seat, though!
|Get to know Dave Connolly|
|What he drives:||Chevy Tahoe|
|Dream car:||GNC Denali Pick-Up|
|Years Associated with IDG:||3|
|Favorite driver:||Lee Shepherd|
|Favorite fast food:||Chick Fil-A|