Indy ORP: Shawn Gann preview

It All Comes Down to the Big Go for Gann XTreme Rebellion/RumBum team looks to clinch Countdown berth in Indy CLERMONT, Ind. -- A first-round loss in Reading coupled with a finals appearance by Michael Phillips combined to put Shawn Gann in ...

It All Comes Down to the Big Go for Gann
XTreme Rebellion/RumBum team looks to clinch Countdown berth in Indy

CLERMONT, Ind. -- A first-round loss in Reading coupled with a finals appearance by Michael Phillips combined to put Shawn Gann in ninth place in the NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock Motorcycle standings with only one more race before the Countdown to 1 begins. Adding to the stress level is the fact the final race of the "regular season" is the Big Go.

The North Carolina native has seen success at O'Reilly Raceway Park, winning the Ringers Gloves Pro Bike Battle here in 2001. Last year, however, Gann saw a long week end with a gut-wrenching 17th qualifying position, forcing him to miss the Labor Day classic. Despite the pressure going into the weekend and last year's DNS, the four-time Nationals winner is stoked about returning to the U.S. Nationals.

"Indy is awesome!" he said. "Indy is, for racecar drivers, one of the highlights of life and I look at it that way. I think Indianapolis is a highlight of my life. I've never won there, but I did go to the finals four years in a row. Most of the time, I know I'm going to do well there. I love Indianapolis."

The pilot of the XTreme Rebellion/RumBum Buell also understands there is more at stake this weekend than winning his fifth Wally. After Phillips jumped three spots to eighth in the PSM standings after making the finals at Maple Grove Raceway two weeks ago, Gann's place in the Countdown to 1 isn't as secure as it once was. He knows he has to win rounds in Monday's eliminations to make his dream of earning an NHRA Full Throttle Series title a reality.

"Us going out in the first round in Reading and Phillips going as deep as he did really hurt us in the standings," Gann said. "I don't think we've ever felt like we've been a sure thing to make the Countdown, but we know we're better than our results have been. We want put XTreme Rebellion and RumBum in the Winner's Circle in Indy and we want to get them in the Countdown."

-credit: hsm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Gann , Michael Phillips