Cannon aims for turnaround in Sonoma SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2003) - Last year on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series West Coast swing, Scotty Cannon enjoyed a productive run, qualifying No. 1 in Denver, No. 4 in Seattle and No. 3 in Sonoma....
Cannon aims for turnaround in Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2003) - Last year on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series West Coast swing, Scotty Cannon enjoyed a productive run, qualifying No. 1 in Denver, No. 4 in Seattle and No. 3 in Sonoma. In Sonoma last year, at what is now known as Infineon Raceway, Cannon took his Oakley Funny Car to the semifinal round, where he lost to Ron Capps.
This year's West Coast swing so far has not been as fruitful for the popular Mohawk-wearing racer from Lyman, S.C., but Cannon is still hopeful that his all-new in 2003 Oakley-sponsored crew is beginning to solve it's minor glitches to help Cannon win rounds and finally garner that elusive first Funny Car victory, perhaps this weekend in the Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon.
Many teams can't boast that their driver has qualified in every event in 2003, but Cannon's can. Not every driver can claim that he's defeated a Funny Car points leader, but Cannon can. He accomplished that feat in Denver on this West Coast swing, with a first-round victory over Tony Pedregon - a crowing achievement for Cannon, as that victory helped his teammate Whit Bazemore carve away Pedregon's point advantage in the championship.
"We're still trying to find that combination that will work on our Oakley Funny Car," says Cannon, the 1999 NHRA Rookie of the Year. "But we are still basically a new team this year and we're still learning what it takes to get it right. But I was happy to help my teammate Baze. He owes me and he knows it," he added, smiling.
Oakley's Mad Scientist Jim Jannard announced in Seattle that Cannon would make the last call on the tune-up of the Oakley Funny Car for the rest of the season, while Phil Shuler would move from crew chief to head mechanic. >From the outside, it may look like like Cannon is taking over all the crew chief duties, but it's not as major a change as it appears, say Jannard and Cannon.
"Making the final call on the tune-up is only about 10 percent of what a crew chief does," says Cannon. "There's a lot more that has to be done, and Phil will continue to make those decisions, but it's a change we felt we had to make."
LITTLE-KNOWN SCOTTY CANNON FACT:
You'll never guess what this 6'2" Mohawk-coiffed, Oakley-hip, drag-racing cool dude drives as his personal car when home in Lyman, S.C.: A new Mini-Cooper S. Who woulda thought?