Cannister reaches Funny Car semifinals again EPPING, N.H.-When Laurie Cannister changed from Pro Outlaw to Funny Car to start the season, her weakest link in adapting to the new car was her reaction time. The executive assistant from Clinton,...
Cannister reaches Funny Car semifinals again
EPPING, N.H.-When Laurie Cannister changed from Pro Outlaw to Funny Car to start the season, her weakest link in adapting to the new car was her reaction time.
The executive assistant from Clinton, Pa., has made rapid progress in that area, but she would be the first to admit there's room for progress, especially after the IHRA's sixth annual Amalie Oil North American Nationals at the Dodge Dealers' Night of Fire this past weekend.
After failing to qualify in her Funny Car debut, Cannister made this race her sixth visit to the semifinals in seven attempts, highlighted by that drive to the finals in Stanton, Mich.
Cannister's undoing came during yesterday's third round of Funny Car eliminations, and her average reaction time cost her, despite a quicker run down the New England Dragway quarter-mile. Cannister produced a .490 seconds holeshot to the .402 from Thomas. Yet she had a quicker elapsed time of 5.886 seconds at 237.59 mph to the 5.909/241.15 for Thomas, making the holeshot the difference.
The Girl Power Motorsports driver was solid off the starting line in the second round against Larry Dobbs. She was away first (.444 to .449) in winning the battle at 5.914 and 236.46. Dobbs made it easy for her as his car spit out the blower belt early in the run.
Cannister and Dave Ray were in a dead heat off the line at .445 seconds each in the first round, but Ray also helped her when something broke on his car. Yet, the 5.922/235.31 was a strong run even without the assistance.
Cannister threw away her first qualifying run on Friday (8.225) but more than made up for it in the evening with her 5.904/226.43 to finish the day No. 3 on the list.
On Saturday, she was on a mission, and in her first attempt, Cannister obliterated her Friday run with a 5.874/238.38 that vaulted her into the second spot. Cannister, who won on this track last year in Pro Outlaw, preserved her number two position by stepping up again to a 5.863/236.84.
Cannister will be on another mission. In the season opener at Rockingham, N.C., she failed to qualify for the only time. She will get a chance to erase that memory in two weeks on this Tar Heel quarter-mile at the third annual CARQUEST Autumn Nationals from Sept. 21-23.
The latest news on Cannister and the other stars on the IHRA tour can be found by turning to the Internet's largest drag-racing e-zine at www.competitionplus.com.