Illiana Speedway: Jeff Cannon back in driver’s seat
By Ryan Haskell Post-Tribune correspondent May 17, 2013 7:48PM
Updated: June 19, 2013 6:16AM
Veteran Illiana Motor Speedway super late model driver Jeff Cannon says that it’s “dumb luck” that he’s leading the super late model division.
Because his car hasn’t run anything like he hoped it would in two races this season.
So he’s hoping the third time is the charm.
Cannon, who won super late model division titles in 2007, ’09 and ’10, finished third in both features this season but still leads the division with 243 points.
He said his goal isn’t to win the division title; he wants to win every single race.
“We’ve been racing the crate car; we’ve tried to race the built-motor car (bigger engine) but it didn’t handle right so we took it back to the drawing board,” Cannon said. “What we’re trying to do is combine the two in the blue car because it’d have both handling and power.”
The three-time champ drove in two races total last season. He was a crew member for Paul Shafer, Jr., last year as he tried to develop the young driver’s talent.
Shafer is 16 years old, but is in his fourth year at Illiana and second in the super late model division.
Cannon said being a member of a team was quite an experience last year.
“For me, if I could watch a car, I can tell what it’s doing in terms of how it’s handling better than when I’m driving it,” he said. “We took care of his whole racing operation last year and we had a good time with it. He did all the racing. We kept the car at our shop (Govert’s Auto Body) and we took care of everything for him.”
Cannon and his crew parted ways with Shafer after the season, though, because Shafer’s dad wanted to take the car home and plans to travel more this season. Cannon wanted to stay close to home so he’d have more quality with his 21/2-year-old son.
So he’s back racing at Illiana.
“I have mixed emotions,” Cannon said. “I had fun racing with Paul and we met a couple people through him that is helping our program now. Last year the goal was to get him into some longer races so he could get stamina in those races. I wish the best for him.”
Shafer is currently third in the division.