Las Vegas: Scelzi, Cannon Saturday summary

Cannon qualifies No. 8; Scelzi DNQs. LAS VEGAS (April 5, 2003) -- Scotty Cannon qualified in the top half of the field for the first time this season, claiming the No. 8 spot with his 4.859-second run at 321.73 mph, which he established...

Cannon qualifies No. 8; Scelzi DNQs.

LAS VEGAS (April 5, 2003) -- Scotty Cannon qualified in the top half of the field for the first time this season, claiming the No. 8 spot with his 4.859-second run at 321.73 mph, which he established yesterday. In today's first run Cannon smoked the tires, slowing to a 5.973/158.46 pass. In the final run an errant piece of rubber bouncing around the engine compartment produced an 11.321/85.32 pass.

"It's better than 16th," smiled Cannon. "We moved up eight spots in the last three races; I guess you can look at it that way. I'm proud of my guys.

"We went out there in the first session this morning and the track bit everybody a little bit. We were trying to improve on our .85. Only one car went better than .85, so the chances of us doing it were probably slim to none. But, we had to see what the track could stand for heat conditions tomorrow."

A two-inch piece of rubber hose was the culprit in the final run: "And then we went up there tonight and we just had it jacked up good," said Cannon. "A piece of rubber came off the hose that goes between the body latch and the tank . If anybody was watching my guys on the starting line, they'd have seen them giving me hand signals to turn the pump off, turn some different stuff on because the fuel pressure was real, real low. So then it kind of cleared up. You do a burnout on one fuel pump, so they told me to put two pumps on to up the pressure, so when I did it blew it blew the piece of trash that was hung on this little valve out from under it. Luckily, it got hung on another valve behind it and it kind of confused it. That really wouldn't have hurt the way the car would have run, but by then the motor had gotten so hot from lacking fuel during the burnout it didn't have any chance of making it, so it's a good thing we found it. It didn't take us too long. We'll get it. That's one of the normal little gremlins that can get you right there. Maybe if those things keep happening, we can just weed those out rather than all the big things the first three races. I feel really good about tomorrow. We get to race."

Cannon will face Dean Skuza in the first round of eliminations tomorrow.

GARY SCELZI, OAKLEY DODGE STRATUS R/T, failed to qualify for the first time this year. In his final attempt this afternoon, in the same left lane in which he experienced an explosion yesterday, he lost traction half track and hazed the tires, resulting in a 5.515/192.96 pass, good enough only for No. 19.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Dean Skuza , Scotty Cannon