Indy ORP: Shawn Gann Sunday notes

Gann Qualifies a Season-High Fifth for U.S. Nationals XTreme Rebellion/RumBum team expect to win rounds Monday in Indy CLERMONT, Ind. -- All season long, Shawn Gann has had two goals: to return to the Winner's Circle and to earn his way into the...

Gann Qualifies a Season-High Fifth for U.S. Nationals
XTreme Rebellion/RumBum team expect to win rounds Monday in Indy

CLERMONT, Ind. -- All season long, Shawn Gann has had two goals: to return to the Winner's Circle and to earn his way into the Countdown to 1 in the NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock Motorcycle class. After qualifying a season-high fifth for Monday's 55th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park, he may do both in the same day.

Currently ninth in points, Gann earned his qualifying berth after a blistering 6.979 pass on his XTreme Rebellion/RumBum Buell on Saturday. The four-time Nationals winner only had one opportunity to improve that time on Sunday with inclement weather only allowing for one qualifying pass, running a 7.013 ET at 189.31 mph.

"When the Buell is right, we're always consistent," Gann said after qualifying Sunday. "We know we can run solid ETs and we've always been good here at Indy. I think this is the best setup we've had all year and this is the place and time to do it."

After nearly missing the field last year in this event with a qualifying position of 17th for the 16-bike field, Gann and his team were very pleased with their prospects for Monday's eliminations. The North Carolina native faces 12th-place qualifier Wesley Walls in the first round.

"We know we can do well in the playoffs or whatever they're calling it," he said. "I don't want to wish bad luck on anyone, but to make the Countdown, we need to see Steve Johnson and Karen (Stoffer) and Michael Phillips slip up.

"At the end of the day, though, we can't worry about that. We have to run our race and win some rounds and everything will fall into place. Then we'll worry about what comes next."

Earning top-qualifier honors in the NHRA Full Throttle Series Pro Stock Motorcycle class was 2007 champion Matt Smith. The Don Schumacher Racing driver laid down a pass of 6.918 at 192.38 mph Sunday afternoon.

-credit: hsm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shawn Gann , Steve Johnson , Don Schumacher , Matt Smith