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What went wrong for you in your final season in the Funny Car?

Cannon: My car ran good the last year--sometimes. It’d either haul ass or not go at all and that‘s because the orders I got from headquarters--and this was from Jim Jannard himself--was that he’d just as soon not qualify as not be number-one qualifier. That was the pressure I was under the last year me and Phil ran that car. And I’m not knocking Jim--we knew his position going in--but let me tell you, you can’t run a fuel car like that. That’s hard.

Cannon says he’d like to return to the NHRA nitro ranks as either a driver or crew chief, but regardless of what happens on that front, his son Scott will be handling the driving duties in Pro Mod this year.

Here’s the problem: you go out there Friday evening and you know you’ve gone a 4.80 two races ago and there’s two guys ahead of you at 4.82 or 4.83 and you’ve got the guy that writes the checks beside you and you ask him, ‘What do you want to do? Do you want to go for it or just get it in?’ and he says, ‘Send it, go for it.’ I’m not so sure that didn’t cost me the sponsorship, but that’s basically the way I raced the car. But the bottom line of it is that even though he felt that way, I still had the last say-so, but I’m the type of person who if I know what the boss wants, I’m going to try and do it.

I wouldn’t do that any more. I mean, if some guy walked up and said I’m going to pay you X amount of dollars and you’re going to go out and shoot for the stars and the moon every run, the first thing I’d do is say, ‘Let’s make this thing public, so when I look like a big, ol’ fool, I ain’t gonna’ smell bad, too.’

If I had to do it all over, though, I would carefully, very carefully, pick out a crew chief. There’s not many good guys out there. And I would ask him, ‘Do you want me to get in there and shut up and drive, or do you want me to help you?’ Now, 90 percent of them are going to tell me to shut up and drive, and I would say to that crew chief that’s no problem, but if that’s the case I’m going to be like the rest of these owners and if this thing ain’t performing I’m going to have my foot up your ass--as an owner, not as a driver.

Would you prefer to be just a hired driver now?

Cannon: Yeah, as long as I knew that and that‘s what happened, that’s fine. I wouldn’t want to go to a team where they want you to drive and also consult, but when you try to help them they tell you how stupid you are. Now I would like to be what I call ‘just a dumbass driver.’ I can be that guy. I’d love it. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind helping someone crew chief a car. I’ve got all my records.

Do you want to get back in a Funny Car or would you like to try Top Fuel?

Cannon: Either one, but I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been watching Monster Truck and I like those things. I’d do it tomorrow as long as I could make a few bucks and have some fun with it. What does NHRA get over a weekend, maybe 50,000 fans? I was watching Monster Truck in the dome in Atlanta and they had 60,000 there on one night. Think about it, 60,000 in one night. I’m not so sure that’s not where I should be. I mean, those guys were having fun, they were jumping over things and tearing up stuff and the fans just loved them.

Any last comment you want to get off your chest?

Cannon: Just that for all the fans that stuck with me, don’t give up. I haven’t went away, I’m still the same old guy. We’re just kind of in limbo right now, but it’s not the end of the world.


Last Month's
Scott Cannon and Scotty Cannon, Part 1



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