Grand Bend: Sunday eliminations summary

Scotty Cannon Finds Winner's Circle For First Time in Top Fuel Creasy, Spiess, Commisso and Noakes also claim Wins at Mopar Canadian Nationals GRAND BEND, Ontario (July 22, 2007) -- Scotty Cannon made his bones in the Torco's ...

Scotty Cannon Finds Winner's Circle For First Time in Top Fuel

Creasy, Spiess, Commisso and Noakes also claim Wins at Mopar Canadian Nationals

GRAND BEND, Ontario (July 22, 2007) -- Scotty Cannon made his bones in the Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified class, winning a record 28 national events and taking home six world championships. At the Knoll Gas Nitro Jam event at Grand Bend Motorplex Cannon was able to win another Ironman...but it was unlike any of his previous ones.

Cannon stepped into a Top Fueler this season, driving Evan Knoll's '06 Hadman Dragster. Sunday during the Mopar Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol he was able to break through and head back to the Winner's Circle for the first time in 10 years by stopping Jim Cavaleri in the final round. Cannon clocked a 4.967 at 293.92 mph to better Cavaleri's 5.071 at 256.06.

"I really have to thank the Canadian fans," Cannon said. "They were just incredible. It's been 10 years since I've won one of these, but this win was just as sweet as the last one."

Last season Dale Creasy Jr. won his first career national event when he knocked off Bob Gilbertson in the Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car final at the Mopar Canadian Nationals. That victory started a journey for Creasy that ended with his capturing the Nitro Funny Car world championship.

One year later Creasy was back in the Winner's Circle at Grand Bend Motorplex after defeating first-time finals participant Mitch King. It was Creasy's fifth career national event victory and kept him in the lead in the season championship points chase.

"We're working as hard as we can," Creasy said. "This is a great weekend and we're on a roll. But there are a lot of good cars out there who can get on a roll just as quick as we did, so we just have to keep working hard."

Ray Commisso (Toronto, Ont.) pulled off an upset when he drove his brand new 1967 Camaro to the Winner's Circle. He was able to get past Mike Janis in the final round to become the second consecutive No. 13 qualifier to end up in the Winner's Circle on the Nitro Jam tour. Commisso blew up after crossing the finish line, but that didn't matter as he got to the stripe before Janis.

"We hurt the car, hurt it real bad," Commisso said. "I've never hurt a car that bad but we'll take it. I'm so happy to have (tuner) Al Billes in my corner, there is no way we would be able to do this without Al's help."

Paul Noakes won the battle of local talent when he knocked off Rob Atchison in the Alcohol Funny Car final. Noakes, a school teacher from London, Ontario, defeated the three-time World Champion Atchison by running a clean 5.947 at 241.50 mph. Atchison, also from London, posted a 6.024 at 242.41.

The win came in Noakes' first IHRA Nitro Jam event of the season and was a bit of redemption for his Crew Chief Les Mellows. Mellows wrenched for Atchison before moving over to Noakes' team last season.

"Les Mellows, my Crew Chief, has been my friend forever," Noakes said. "He made all the right calls this weekend and the car responded. We came to this event just hoping to qualify, but we were able to take home the win. I'm very, very happy right now."

Steve Spiess, the 2005 Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock world champion, won a Nitro Jam national event for the first time since the 2005 Skull Gear World Nationals when he defeated Frank Gugliotta in the final round at the Mopar Canadian Nationals. Spiess, from Manhattan, Ill., carded a 6.389 at 219.22 mph to claim the championship against Gugliotta, who lifted out of the run.

"I'm very pleased with the car," Spiess said. "We qualified well and were able to go some rounds. We made a few adjustments to the car over the weekend and they seemed to work out for us. I can't wait for the next race."

The next event on the $19.5 million Knoll Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series is the Torco Racing Fuels Northern Nationals, August 3 -- 5, Knoll Gas Motorsports Park at US 131, south of Grand Rapids, Mich. For more information, please log onto www.ihra.com.

-credit: ihra

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Series Drag
Drivers Mike Janis , Bob Gilbertson , Dale Creasy Jr. , Scotty Cannon , Mitch King , Al Billes , Steve Spiess , Frank Gugliotta