DSB_4900.jpgFor Scotty Cannon the phrase “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” would be an accurate description of his current physical status.
Cannon, driver of Evan Knoll’s Seelye-Wright Top Fuel dragster, suffered a back injury during the second round of qualifying at the recently completed IHRA Spring Nationals in Rockingham, NC. He finished the weekend despite suffering two ruptured discs.
Cannon underwent surgery last Friday at the Charlotte Spine Clinic to repair the damage. This marked his second back operation since 1997.
“I’ve found out just how painful a ruptured disc can be,” Cannon, who is still bed-ridden in his Lyman, SC., residence said. “I was in terrible pain at the race track and I just tried to do everything I could to make it through.
“When little Scott won on Sunday, I think it was the most painful experience in the winner’s circle that I’ve ever experienced. It was so bad over the course of the weekend that I didn’t make the last qualifying session and my crew had to help me in and out of the car. I knew I had a bad problem that wasn’t going to fix itself.”
Cannon aggravated the injury he suffered in 1997 when he raced Pro Modified. He ruptured the same discs during qualifying for the final event of the season and was forced to withdraw from competition. Physicians gave him the choice of being in bed for six months or having corrective surgery.
Cannon chose surgery, knowing that he had a major racing commitment in two months that required a trip to Australia. Not only did he make the trip, but won races and established records.
“I survived a 14-hour flight and that was not easy,” Cannon said. “With what happened then and then going through what I did in Rockingham, I think I have pretty much covered the bases of enduring pain.”
Cannon’s recent surgery was his last resort following an unsuccessful epidural.
“I pulled the parachutes following my second qualifying session in Rockingham and I knew I had a problem,” Cannon said. “I really had no problems when I raced Funny Car, and the time I had off before this ride came along really allowed me to rest my back.
“But the long hours and lack of rest during the last couple of seasons caught up to me. Your body has a way of slowing you down when you can’t seem to do it. This time it had the last word in everything.”
Cannon is planning to race during the upcoming Torco IHRA Sooner Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“You know how that goes,” Cannon said. “If I can do it, I will be there. We’ll just have to see.”