TRAINING NEW TALENT
Connolly wasn ’ t about to call himself the Pro Stock whisperer for new drivers , but it ’ s hard to argue with what he ’ s been able to do with young drivers in a class that can be extremely difficult to master . He helped guide Erica Enders , Tanner Gray , Dallas Glenn and Kyle Koretsky to their first wins in the class in recent years , with Glenn and Koretsky picking up victories this year . Interestingly enough , Connolly keeps a laid-back approach with young drivers , letting them process things in their own time while they try to learn the numerous nuances of the class that can take years to master .
I ’ ve known Kyle for a lot of years , so it ’ s been interesting . He ’ s driven a lot of cars before he jumped into a Pro Stock car , so I didn ’ t really have to teach him a lot of the basics . He went through a spell where he was struggling a little on the tree and I ’ ve seen it with every driver . It ’ s just something you go through . I gave him my suggestions on it , but he had enough pressure , so I kind of laid back a little . I didn ’ t want to put any more pressure on him , so I try to take more of a laid-back approach , I guess .
You don ’ t want to put too much in their heads . Obviously , problems are going to occur , but they ’ re both very knowledgeable to what ’ s going on in a car . Dallas has been working on these things for so long he ’ s probably made thousands of runs in his head . It ’ s just small stuff and I ’ ll give my input when needed . They know when something ’ s wrong or if there ’ s an area that needs to be worked on . They ’ ll come ask the questions and I ’ ll give my answers from there .
I don ’ t know how I ’ ve gotten to that role where I ’ ve had a lot of new drivers , but it ’ s interesting to have been a part of it . Some ask lot of questions and some don ’ t , so I let them come to me with questions and I ’ ll give answers .
I ’ m a huge advocate of seat time . You learn by trial and error , and it ’ s the same thing with racing . I enjoy it , and Dallas and Kyle have gotten more competitive with each other . That will drive them to get better and I think it has . Dallas has shown he can let the clutch out with the best of them and Kyle has really been step-
“ I don ’ t know how I ’ ve gotten to that role where I ’ ve had a lot of new drivers , but it ’ s interesting to have been a part of it . Some ask lot of questions and some don ’ t , so I let them come to me with questions and I ’ ll give answers .”
ping up . Him watching Dallas has improved his game as well .
You just take everything you ’ ve learned and try to apply it , race smart and race to the best of your ability . To try to put any more pressure is not going to do you any good and you ’ re doing yourself more harm than good .
82 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 171