Brainerd: Scotty Cannon eliminations summary

Cannon loses to Wilkerson in first round at Brainerd BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 17, 2003) - Scotty Cannon, in the Oakley Funny Car, had a tough race in front of him in the first round of final eliminations today at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals on a...

Cannon loses to Wilkerson in first round at Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 17, 2003) - Scotty Cannon, in the Oakley Funny Car, had a tough race in front of him in the first round of final eliminations today at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals on a hot and slippery Brainerd International Raceway.

As No. 12 qualifier he found himself in a match-up against Tim Wilkerson, who had qualified fifth. Although Cannon's win/loss record against Wilkerson was 3-0, Wilkerson had been showing well at a number of events this season and Cannon was well aware that he had his work cut out for him.

Each driver launched at the starting lights with nearly identical times (.086 for Cannon, .070 for Wilkerson). Cannon, who was using this event as a continuation of last week's Route 66 Raceway testing session, however, started to lose cylinders at 330 feet, spitting and sputtering to the finish line with a 5.255-second pass at 251.91 mph to Wilkerson's winning 5.024/305.15.

"Well, we tried," said Cannon, the 1999 NHRA Rookie of the Year. "We thought we had the right combination working for us after yesterday's qualifying session, but, as I said, we were using this race as a test session and we've learned a lot. Having more rounds to look at for data would have helped, but we're going to keep at it. Mike Neff (Gary Scelzi's crew chief) has been working with us, and we'll continue that relationship and get this Oakley Funny Car to start winning rounds."

"Wilkerson is never a driver that can be counted out," he added. "He's good and we knew we had to have the edge to beat him. We didn't have it today."

Cannon remains 14th in the POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings, with 570 points.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Scotty Cannon , Tim Wilkerson , Mike Neff