Grand Bend: Laurie Cannister off to Canada

GRAND BEND, ONT., CANADA - Laurie Cannister had two goals this season when she started her first full season in the wildly diverse IHRA Pro Outlaw division. The soft-spoken executive assistant for SmithKline Beecham wanted to be the quickest...

GRAND BEND, ONT., CANADA - Laurie Cannister had two goals this season when she started her first full season in the wildly diverse IHRA Pro Outlaw division. The soft-spoken executive assistant for SmithKline Beecham wanted to be the quickest in the class and the points leader. With two races underway, the Nicorette/Nicoderm CQ driver already has both objectives in her grip. The Mopar Parts Canadian nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex should provide her with the opportunity to put a tighter headlock on the class.

Cannister, 38, who hails from Clinton, Pa., nabbed a good start on the admirable goals at the last completed IHRA national event, the Holley Spring Nationals presented by Castrol GTX in Rockingham, NC. The reigning IHRA Rookie of the Year award winner not only scored the class record with a blistering 6.038 elapsed time, but also pushed her Mopar-powered, small block dragster to a victory over Mick Snyder in the finals.

Both achievements were responsible for putting the five-time national event winner into the points lead. The sophomore driver admits that she can't wait to get to the IHRA's first national event in Canada since 1992.

"This is going to be a blast and we always tend to do very well at the Mopar-sponsored events," explained Cannister, who won last season's World Nationals and World Finals, both of which are sponsored by Mopar. "We haven't been sitting around idle since the event in Rockingham. We've taken the opportunity to go through everything on the car and to make sure that we're even more prepared when the IHRA schedule goes wide open again."

Cannister opened the season by reaching the finals at the Prolong Winter Nationals in Darlington, SC. She also qualified number one at the event. Cannister has a perfect record in qualifying thus far in 2000.

Qualifying for the Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex will begin on Friday. Contestants will be afforded two attempts on Saturday with final eliminations slated for Sunday.

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Series Drag
Drivers Laurie Cannister , Mick Snyder