Canadian Mike Shannon came extremely close to winning it all within NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series during 2015…
The prolific and motivated racer, who is based from Kelowna BC, and who has unquestionably and consistently remained one of Canada’s top two or three Sportsman level racer threats over the past decade or so, came harrowingly close to claiming NHRA’s Lucas Oil World Championship title for Super Comp (8.90) racing.
Mike fell just short of that goal, losing the overall title by a scant 20 points (to Champion Kevin Brannon) following the conclusion of NHRA’s final event of the season (the AAA Auto Club Finals) held at Pomona California just last week.
The 2015 season run for Shannon really was a remarkable one, including a tremendous round winning percentage, marquee event appearances (including the Jegs Allstars event at Chicago for the 2nd year in a row) and major event wins racing both his Super Comp dragster and his Super Gas Corvette.
Not only did Mike place 2nd in the final World points, he “doubled up” within his NHRA geographical Northwest region, taking both the Super Comp and Super Gas divisional championships. In total Shannon collected 4 wins in Super Comp and 3 in Super Gas over the season campaign.
“This year was bitter sweet,” said Mike while reflecting on his season. “On one hand it has to go down as my best year ever — but on the other hand if I could have just turned on two more win lights – (!) But I am proud to have won both the championships this year and feel honoured about that. When I look back to the fact that 72 win lights came on in my lane this year — it’s hard to believe that is the total. I managed to finish in the “top ten” in NHRA World points with both cars (Corvette was 7th in S/G) and that in itself feels pretty awesome.”
Mike was also quick to admit that he if couldn’t win the title — he was happy that his primary opponent Kevin Brannon (who is from South Carolina) – did.
“I think Kevin deserved it and he is a great person,” he continued. “In fact Kevin helped me work on my dragster at Pomona when I broke — now that is the definition of true sportsman racing!”
Prior to 2015 – Shannon’s best finish in the NHRA Lucas Oil World standings had been #14 in Super Gas back in 2012. He had never won at the geographical divisional level until now – despite finishing 2nd and 3rd in points many times before.
Shannon’s collection of event winning hardware is for sure rather massive. To date in his career he has amassed a collection of 40 NHRA “Wallys” when combining national, divisional, and national open event wins. When he can, he also races select events on the rival IHRA tour where he is 2X Divisional Champion and 5X national event winner.
Mike’s versatile 2015 season came racing both a newly acquired dragster and also a trusted Corvette.
“The Chromeworx / American dragster is proving to be a force after I put a lot of work into it,” Mike continued. “I believe it to be almost perfect – I like to think it’s an A+ car with a C+ driver (a quote from Tommy Phillips that fits me well – LOL!) I’m grateful for all the help I had making this car right from some great friends and fellow racers including, Chris Cannon, Luke Bogacki ,John Parkes and Kevin Kleinweber.”
“I’ve owned my Don Davis built Super Gas Corvette since new in 2003,” Mike revealed. “I’ve thought about selling it sometimes, but admit now – that would be hard.”
Mike was also quick to credit the ongoing support he receives for pursuing his passion, from his wife Debbie his father/crew chief Norm Shannon.
“To accomplish this — there is a lot of behind the scenes help,” Mike added. “Thanks to close friends Chris Cannon, Mark Downing and my great supporting sponsors Lordco Auto Parts, Hughes Performance (Kevin & Jim), America/Chromeworx Ultra Cars, Steve at K&N Filters, John & Joe @ APD, Joe @ Sunset Performance, and Keith Korecki @ K&S Machine. Everyone one of them played key support roles in my season. I know it’s a cliche — but without all that help — none of this is possible.”
For Mike Shannon, who is the owner of RPM Automotive (based in Kelowna) his amazing 2015 season was both rewarding and momentum building – both of which bode well for his chances again next season.
Posted by Bruce Biegler
Photos by: Bruce Biegler and Blair Alderton