Cannon qualifies in top half of field (No. 8) at Gateway (NHRA) MADISON, Ill. (June 28, 2003) - Scotty Cannon qualified his Oakley Funny Car in the top half of the field (No. 8) by virtue of the 4.942/301.40 lap he posted in the second round of...
Cannon qualifies in top half of field (No. 8) at Gateway (NHRA)
MADISON, Ill. (June 28, 2003) - Scotty Cannon qualified his Oakley Funny Car in the top half of the field (No. 8) by virtue of the 4.942/301.40 lap he posted in the second round of qualifying yesterday. Today's two final rounds did not see any improvement for the popular Mohawk-wearing racer, but it was not for want of trying. Cannon was going for a repeat of his No. 1 qualifying effort of last year here in the final session of the Sears Craftsman NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, but he came up short with a tire-smoking 9.487/87.10.
"Since Chicago we changed the whole clutch system and it looks like that's the first time out of 10 runs it hasn't been to half track," he said. "We were actually trying to run harder than the track would allow, but the bottom line is, we figured someone would run an .85 or .86. It was either try to move up a couple of positions (from seventh) or try to move up to No. 1. It would have been nice, but at least we stayed in the top half of the field.
"We were trying to run like an .84, or .85, but it just couldn't stand it early. It's obvious that the track wasn't really there. It wasn't as much us as it was the track. Because nobody did it but one guy, and that was Densham (No. 1 qualifier at 4.858/311.13). I know everybody was trying to run good. I know Zippy (Mike Neff, Gary Scelzi's crew chief) was trying to run an .84 or .85 and he didn't make it. And (Lee) Beard (Whit Bazemore's crew chief), he was going to try run probably an .85 too. With them trying to run an .85, I was going to try to do the same. I think overall up to this point in the weekend we've done OK."
Cannon will face Johnny Gray in the first round of eliminations on Sunday, which begin at 4:30 p.m.