Scotty Cannon was up before sunrise last Saturday, hitting the road out of Lyman, S.C.
He was set to become the 20th inductee into Bristol Dragway’s Legends of Thunder Valley. But he wasn’t headed to Tennessee. He was going to Atlanta to help a buddy tune his race car.
“I'm getting a taste of the old days,” said the six-time IHRA Pro Modified champion and 28-time winner in the class he pioneered.
But today’s drag-racing scene and modern cars are far different than they were when he and Bill Kuhlmann, Al Billes, Freddy Hahn, Tim McAmis, and Ed Hoover – and even Shannon Jenkins, Mike Castellana, and Mike Ashley – were ushering in the class, inventing it. Now these 21st Century Pro Mods, with their sophisticated telemetry, require different skills than Cannon had to employ with his popular nitrous-injected ’41 Willys or his supercharged ’63 split window Corvette. Even the NHRA Funny Car class, in which Cannon competed for six years, has made huge performance strides seemingly overnight.