Jason Cannon Darlington recap

Cannon takes points lead with win in Darlington DARLINGTON, S.C. - Much like a late fourth quarter comeback in a football game, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Jason Cannon and the Caps Coach & Trailer/InsideTopAlcohol.com team used a clutch...

Cannon takes points lead with win in Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. - Much like a late fourth quarter comeback in a football game, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Jason Cannon and the Caps Coach & Trailer/InsideTopAlcohol.com team used a clutch win at this past weekend's Division 2 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series closer at Darlington International Raceway in Darlington, S.C. to take the points lead with only one race remaining. Current third place racer John Haley and fourth place Guy Kelly can overtake Cannon only by making the finals at the last division race of the year in Las Vegas.

Cannon, who helps run the family's boat and racing truck/trailer lot, Caps Marine Center and Caps Coach & Trailer, in Middleburg, Fla., entered the event fourth in points. Cannon qualified fourth with a 5.431 second elapsed time at 261 mph. In a day full of key match-ups, Cannon took out Haley in round one with a 5.45, and then ended second place Tony Bartone's world championship hopes by taking him out with a 5.413 at 261 to Bartone's right-there 5.415 at 263 mph. When Kelly redlighted in the other semifinal pair, the door opened for Cannon to take the points lead with a final round win.

Cannon's final round opponent, Franny Monaghan, Jr., had just clinched the Division 1 Championship by making the final round. Cannon ran a 5.47 to Monaghan's 5.57 to take the points lead.

"We just decided to run our own race this weekend," said Cannon. "We saw some of the other cars going a little faster, and we saw where we could have made a few changes to speed it up, but we just decided to stick with what we knew would run mid to low .40's, and that was the tune-up in the car. We stayed pretty focused, and in the end, everything worked out."

"We got too aggressive a couple weeks ago in Columbus and beat ourselves," added crew chief Will Hanna. "So the theme of the weekend was just to stick with what we knew. We tried to run the nose lighter the first pass in qualifying, and the car quickly told us it didn't like that, so we put the weight back and took the wheelie bar off, and she went right down broadway. After that, we didn't touch the tune-up all weekend. Everything else just fell into place."

"It's not over yet," commented Cannon. "Haley and Kelly are more than capable of going out to Vegas and making the finals, so we'll wait until that race is over to start celebrating."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Guy Kelly , John Hale