Rockingham: Laurie Cannister clinches Pro Outlaw championship

ROCKINGHAM, NC. - The long and hard fought battle that Pro Outlaw racer Laurie Cannister has fought since March is now over. The Clinton, Pa.-based driver of the Nicorette/Nicoderm CQ-sponsored entry only had to qualify and win the first...

ROCKINGHAM, NC. - The long and hard fought battle that Pro Outlaw racer Laurie Cannister has fought since March is now over. The Clinton, Pa.-based driver of the Nicorette/Nicoderm CQ-sponsored entry only had to qualify and win the first round at the CARQUEST Autumn Nationals in Rockingham, NC., to clinch the World Championship. She succeeded on all counts.

It wasn't a pretty first round win against alternate Mike Decker as her car nailed the tires and encountered severe tireshake. Unaware that Decker also encountered similar problems and lifted at mid-track, Cannister pedaled her entry to the win.

Cannister, who posted wins at the Holley Spring Nationals in Rockingham, NC; CARQUEST Spring Nationals and the AMALIE North American Nationals, was plenty happy to clinch her title.

"We had a hard time just getting to this point," explained Cannister. "We had a tough weekend and we really didn't qualify as well as we wanted to. I guess it all worked out in the end for us. I'd like to thank Nicorette/Nicoderm CQ and Mopar for helping us to jump to the top of the game."

She continued, "My crew and engine builder Jeff Fowler all put in a lot of hours to make us the champions in 2000. I hate that our class is going away, but I am thankful that I will be remembered as the final World Champion."

At the conclusion of the event, Cannister is uncertain of her plans for next season. Her chances of racing next year are getting slim unless she can secure a sponsor to replace Nicorette/Nicoderm CQ, who have decided to go in a different direction in their marketing efforts.

"I am looking for a sponsor for next year," explained Cannister. "Who knows where we will be at, whether it is a Funny Car or Pro Modified. We wanted to go Top Fuel, but we don't know if that will happen or not."

She may have won the championship, but her day is far from complete at Rockingham.

"We have to concentrate on winning this thing," explained Cannister. "We want to take it all home."

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