Commerce: Scotty Cannon Saturday summary

Oakley's Cannon will start No. 10 in Atlanta COMMERCE, Ga. (May 3, 2003) -- Only three rounds of qualifying were run here at Atlanta Dragway after a rainstorm blew into Commerce, Ga., after only one round of two scheduled sessions was completed...

Oakley's Cannon will start No. 10 in Atlanta

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 3, 2003) -- Only three rounds of qualifying were run here at Atlanta Dragway after a rainstorm blew into Commerce, Ga., after only one round of two scheduled sessions was completed on Friday. Following the final qualifying round today, Scotty Cannon, driver of the Oakley Elite Special Forces Funny Car, will start from the No. 10 position and will face No. 7 qualifier Ron Capps in tomorrow's first round of eliminations.

Cannon, the popular Mohawk-wearing racer from nearby Lyman, S.C., posted a 4.911-second elapsed time in the final session at 288.46 mph, placing him 10th. His 5.157/223.62 in the second session today is what actually got him safely into the field, even though he had a supercharger belt blow the burst panel out at the top end, which negated what was looking to be a strong run to the finish. In yesterday's only round, he broke on the starting line when he over-revved the engine on the burnout.

"In the first run today the belt blew the burst panel at probably a little past the eighth of a mile. It was trying to run .87 or .86 on a bet," he said. "That last run there -- we saw that we couldn't get bumped out so we fed it a little more clutch right there in the staging lane. It was running real good. It was running a hundredth better than our .85, then the blower belt came off a little past the 1000-foot mark. The good thing we've got to look forward to tomorrow is there were only two cars quicker than us that last round, regardless. That was the John Force cars. We'll work on our tune-up a little bit, put a little more fuel in it and feed it some more clutch and try it again tomorrow."

When asked what happened on the starting line yesterday, he responded, "Actually, when I went to do my burnout it over-revved the motor like a lot and it actually popped and blew the burst panel out in the burnout. I've been driving one of these five years and I've never done that without a throttle stop. We found some tinwork that was bent over this morning that could have been hitting the pedal. So we just removed that with a pair of clippers, and we put a stop on it in case a cable was bending or any fluke thing, so it couldn't go wide open on me during the burnout, and when we back up we would take it off. It's just racing. What can I say? I'm human. I could have made a mistake. We're showing progress, but it's in spurts. We're still a new team. No excuses."

Cannon's team this season is still experiencing teething problems. "We need more testing and more running," he says. "Hopefully everybody will stick with us and next year we'll come out really strong and roaring rather than having to stumble and fall. Right now we have only one run to look at for tomorrow. What are we going to do? We're not going to back up. We're going to lean on it. If we get outrun, we just get outrun. At least that way we'll have something to look at the next race here."

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Scotty Cannon