Cannuli to race in USA again

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John Cannuli will be returning to the United States later this year to have another crack at Top Alcohol Funny Car racing in the NHRA.

Cannuli remained fairly tight lipped about his US return but did say he no longer has plans to buy a car once he gets back there.

“I was going to buy a car over there (in the US) but after this short season here, myself, Paul and our crew will head over at the end of the year and do some runs over there again.”

Cannuli last year drove for Spiros Kontos’ Kon Rodz team including at Las Vegas and Pomona.

For now Cannuli’s focus is on home where he is aiming to pickpocket Gary Phillips for the 2015 championship, which will require a good performance at the Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race at Willowbank Raceway.

Top Fuel and Top Alcohol will headline the annual Easter spectacular for the third year running with title aspirations on the line as Cannuli looks to make up a 68-point deficit on Phillips who has two wins from two this season.

Taking inspiration from Steven Ham’s unlikely run to steal the championship from under the nose of Phillips at last season’s Australian Nationals in Sydney, Cannuli is determined to repeat the feat with three rounds remaining.

“Considering what happened last year I think anything can happen,” said Cannuli.

“There’s still three rounds to go and the proof is in last year when Gary had it in the bag and it got taken out from underneath him. I think we’ve got every chance of taking it from underneath him this year. We’ll be doing our best to make it happen.

“My crew chief Paul Rooks is the man to make that happen. I can’t do any of this without him. For the effort he puts in especially over the last five years he deserves all the credit because he doesn’t get the credit he should!”

Rooks has been happy with the progress made this season and isn’t fazed by the prospect of needing to make a competitive run straight off the trailer in the one shot qualifier before the single elimination round for a place in either the A or B final.

“We’re pretty much doing the same thing we left off doing last season,” he said. “After we bought the Noonan heads and a few different ignition-timing systems that we’ve been using, that really stepped it up and made it easier to tune and work with. We’re getting pretty close I think.

“Especially with Willowbank we’ve got a lot of laps there. We shouldn’t have any problems (this week), we’ve got a couple of things to test but it’s normally pretty consistent at Willowbank, the track is pretty good and (a good first run in the three round format) is always achievable.”


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