Joliet: Scotty Cannon preview

Cannon and Route 66 happy together JOLIET, Ill. (May 28, 2003) - Oakley Funny Car driver Scotty Cannon and Route 66 Raceway have a happy relationship, and Cannon is eager to get back on the track that's been good to him in recent years for the...

Cannon and Route 66 happy together

JOLIET, Ill. (May 28, 2003) - Oakley Funny Car driver Scotty Cannon and Route 66 Raceway have a happy relationship, and Cannon is eager to get back on the track that's been good to him in recent years for the Lucas Oil NHRA route 66 Nationals this weekend and the 10th round of the 23-event POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Route 66 Raceway is where Cannon posted his career-best elapsed time of 4.783 seconds in the first event here in 2001. It's also where he was runner-up last year, against Del Worsham.

"It's been pretty good to me," says the popular Mohawk-wearing driver from Lyman, S.C. "It's a real good track. If the weather is permitting I wouldn't be surprised if you don't see some people break the world record this weekend. It wouldn't surprise me one bit."

Cannon's new team is buoyed by its performance last week in Heartland Park Topeka, where Cannon qualified No. 4 with a solid 4.81-second pass, although he was ousted in the first round after losing a cylinder early on. Always aiming to improve their performance, Cannon and his crew, led by crew chief Phil Shuler, tested in Topeka the following Monday.

"What we had done starting in Englishtown," Cannon explains, "was we actually changed the way we were running the motor in the car, because we didn't feel that the way we were running it it was capable of running .70s or real low .80s easy. We hadn't really had much success with the tune-up that we had. So we changed it and in doing so we had to change the clutch combination.

"The Topeka race showed some promised. We actually went an .81," he adds. "So first round Sunday we dropped a hole (cylinder) because we had a little bit too much fuel in it with the way we were running the clutch. So we tested on Monday and the car made three good runs. We were just trying to go 300 or 400 foot to make sure we had the fuel system right, and the car made three excellent runs.

"If we can take what we learned in the last couple of races and apply it here at Joliet, it should run good. We did run an .81, so we know that the car actually has enough horsepower to run up front with the big dogs. We just have to make sure we can get the clutch right. That's the area where we're really focusing on right now, is the bell housing."

Pro Nitro qualifying is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Friday, May 30. On Saturday, May 31, Pro Nitro qualifying continues at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations on Sunday, June 1, begin at 11:00 a.m.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Scotty Cannon