GILLIAM, La.-Laurie Cannister has left the door ajar, and the question to be answered-can Mick Snyder sneak in and steal the 2000 Pro Outlaw championship?
To clinch her first IHRA championship, all the 40-year-old SmithKline Beecham executive from Clinton, Pa., had to do was to go one round further than Snyder during this weekend's Mopar Parts World Finals at Red River Raceway.
She couldn't. Snyder saw to that.
Cannister was real late on the tree, and Snyder left quicker, leaving Cannister playing catch up. Snyder closed the door when he covered the quarter-mile in an elapsed time of 6.079 seconds at 223.43 mph to the 6.191/217.00 for Cannister. The difference in this second-round run, a huge one at that, was at the starting line where Snyder was off in .412 seconds to the.669 for the second-year driver.
The elimination rounds started off promising for Cannister in an all-female showdown against Karen Haddock. While Haddock had some tire shakes and then a puff of smoke to end her day, Cannister was out of the gate first with her Nicorette/Nicoderm CQ Mopar Parts dragster and never looked back in completing the run in 6.147/218.51 to the 6.320/212.39 for her opponent.
After the completion of Friday's qualifying, Cannister's prospects for clinching the championship appeared promising. She was also gearing up for her third straight victory and fifth of the season. Her best pass in the Spitzer dragster of 6.097/220.51 came on Thursday and had her parked in the No. 2 spot until Saturday's elimination rounds.
Cannister will now have to wait until Nov. 4-5 to see if she can slam the door on Snyder in the rain-rescheduled CARQUEST Autumn Nationals at Rockingham, N.C., Dragway.