BUDD'S CREEK, Md.-Laurie Cannister has had better days at the office. The executive assistant from Clinton, Pa., has turned in strong performances during her rookie season behind the wheel of her Funny Car, featuring a span in which she reached at...
BUDD'S CREEK, Md.-Laurie Cannister has had better days at the office. The executive assistant from Clinton, Pa., has turned in strong performances during her rookie season behind the wheel of her Funny Car, featuring a span in which she reached at least the semifinals in seven of eight IHRA tour stops after failing to qualify in the season opener in Rockingham, N.C.
Not that she did all that bad this past weekend, but the 10th annual CARQUEST President's Cup Nationals won't go down as one of the more memorable performances for last year's pro outlaw champion.
After driving so deep into the elimination rounds during most of those other IHRA races, Cannister went home after yesterday's first head-to-head confrontation in an upset loss to Terry McMillen.
Cannister got the drop on No. 11 qualifier McMillen, who shook his tires as he shifted into second gear, at the Christmas tree, .466 seconds to .476. Suddenly, Cannister shook her tires hard at the 60-foot mark. McMillen was able to stay with it for his best pass of the weekend, Cannister couldn't, and he drove down Maryland International Raceway in an elapsed time of 5.879 seconds and 235.93 mph to 5.980 to an identical speed of 235.93.
The driver of the Girl Power Camaro was conservative in her first attempt at qualifying on Friday with a quarter-mile run of 6.014 and 238.93 to reside in the top half of the field. She had to toss out the day's second pass after nailing the tires violently, slowing to a 14.690/48.63, but still finished the day in the 10th position.
Saturday was a new day and brought a renewed energy for Cannister, who was nothing short of incredible. She stepped up and delivered at 5.867 and 237.84. The consistency continued for Cannister, and she produced another 5.86 on her final attempt, concluding four rounds of qualifying in sixth position.
Cannister will have one more attempt to find victory lane during her rookie season when she travels to Shreveport, La., for the fourth annual Mopar Parts World Finals from Oct. 12-14.