Bristol: Scotty Canon eliminations summary

Cannon eliminated in first round in Bristol. BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 27, 2003) -- After two days of cloudy, cool, and even wet weather, Sunday morning dawned bright and warm after an early morning low fog was burned off by the sun. With the sun...

Cannon eliminated in first round in Bristol.

BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 27, 2003) -- After two days of cloudy, cool, and even wet weather, Sunday morning dawned bright and warm after an early morning low fog was burned off by the sun. With the sun came new conditions for the quarter-mile Bristol Dragway nestled between two mountains, and new challenges for the Oakley "Elite Special Forces" Funny Car team.

After qualifying No. 11 in the sixth round of 23 in the 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Scotty Cannon, from nearby Lyman, S.C., a fan favorite here in Bristol because of his days as an IHRA champion, faced Johnny Gray in the first round of final eliminations in the heat of the day. Both drivers left the starting line clean and fast, but it was Gray all the way to the finish line for the victory with a 4.930/301.07 pass, while Cannon smoked the tires, slowing to a 5.807/179.16.

"Everything was going good until I spun the tires," said Cannon, the 1999 NHRA Rookie of the Year. "We're still a new team. It's going to happen and happen again until we get some runs under our belt, so we can have something to go back and look at.

"We have never been here with the sun out," he added. "For us this morning was like the first round of qualifying. We had nothing to look at. We didn't know where to run the clutch, where to run the motor. We had to take a shot at it. Our motto is, 'We ain't going to back it down and get outrun just because we backed it down too much.' We kind of had it jacked up, had too much power for the track, and it just spun the tires.

Drivers in the top half of the field had selected the right lane for eliminations, with the win/loss results 5-3 in favor of the right lane. Without lane choice, Cannon was relegated to the left lane. "I'm pretty sure the right lane is better. Would it have helped our car? Probably. I would think so."

Next race is this weekend, May 1-4, at Atlanta Dragway, in Commerce, Ga., the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scotty Cannon , Johnny Gray