Indianapolis: Scotty Cannon preview

Cannon misses Shootout, but is ready for U.S. Nationals INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 26, 2003) - Oakley Funny Car driver Scotty Cannon just missed the chance to compete in the Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis this weekend by ending up 10th in Shootout...

Cannon misses Shootout, but is ready for U.S. Nationals

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 26, 2003) - Oakley Funny Car driver Scotty Cannon just missed the chance to compete in the Budweiser Shootout at Indianapolis this weekend by ending up 10th in Shootout points, but he's ready to reach for his first Funny Car win at the prestigious U.S. Nationals, the 17th round of 23 in the 2003 POWERade NHRA Drag Racing Series.

The popular Mohawk-wearing driver is still seeking his first Funny Car victory since entering the class from a successful Pro Mod career in 1999. Following productive tests at Route 66 Raceway and Indianapolis Raceway Park and the start of an information-sharing relationship with the rest of the Schumacher Racing brain trust of Mike Neff, Lee Beard and Dan Olson, Cannon has renewed confidence in his team's performance. Bolstered by that confidence, Cannon does not count out winning the U.S. Nationals.

"It would be a dream come true," he said. "It would be awesome. That's what we're here for. We are not speculating that we can't do it."

The recent NHRA-sponsored tests at IRP provided Cannon, who is now crew chief, and his team good data for the U.S. Nationals. "I feel pretty good about going into this race," he added. "We did pretty good in testing. We went a 4.88 (-second elapsed time) in the evening and a 5.03 in the heat. That was one of the fastest runs of the daytime. Even though we're not in the Budweiser Shootout this is still a special race. It is the biggest one of the year. I think it's known for having some first-time winners. I hope it's my turn."

The Indianapolis weather this weekend will be a factor, as always, said Cannon. "In the heat it's probably a going to be a high 4.90 or a 5.0 race track. If it's really, really hot it gets slick just like the rest of the tracks do during the heat. In the night time when it cools off you will probably see some low records. The track is plenty clean and good enough at night time. It's going to be really important to make the two night sessions count because that's probably going to dictate where you qualify for Monday's race."

Following the U.S. Nationals, Cannon will bring out a new chassis, which will incorporate some of the recent changes plus new ones. "We made some pretty serious changes on the car," he said, "and we intend after Indy to bring out the new car. We'll have a different fuel system on it and we're going to put some other different things on it that I wanted to change on the current car, but we couldn't make the changes this quickly because it's going to take about a week to get it all done."

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Scotty Cannon , Mike Neff