Sebring: Cory McClenathan Saturday summary

Cory Mac first car to break 330 mph barrier at Gainesville Raceway Qualifies FRAM AirHog Dragster No. 3 GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19, 2005) -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz FRAM AirHog Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 3 ...

Cory Mac first car to break 330 mph barrier at Gainesville Raceway Qualifies FRAM AirHog Dragster No. 3

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19, 2005) -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz FRAM AirHog Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 3 for eliminations at the 36th annual NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals.

In the first qualifying session on Friday, McClenathan gave notice that the FRAM AirHog dragster would be a contender this weekend, when he reeled off a pass of 4.506 seconds at 331.00 mph. Despite cold weather and a cold track, McClenathan was the first car to run 331.00 mph at Gainesville Raceway.

"It's hard to believe that was the first time anyone has gone over 330 [mph] here," stated McClenathan. "That was easy, I thought I was in the 60's [4.60 seconds] but I'll take the low 50s (4.50 seconds)."

McClenathan had low E.T. of the first qualifying session on Saturday, when he covered the Gainesville Raceway quarter-mile at 4.529 seconds at 330.15. He ended qualifying with his best run of the weekend, a 4.497-second pass at 329.91 mph.

McClenathan commented on qualifying, "Todd (Smith, crew chief) wanted to try and do something a little bit different here. With Bob Bauer's (clutch specialist) help, Todd wanted to make some changes after Phoenix. It was really good work. The weather has been dramatically different each day and regardless, we were able to run really well. I think we proved it was no fluke. We could run in cold weather, hot weather - - it didn't matter and that will give us confidence for tomorrow. We are finally gelling as a team and Todd has given me a great car to drive. I'm extremely excited about our race tomorrow and plan to do my job as a driver."

Todd Smith, crew chief on the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM AirHog dragster, added, "Qualifying at this event is almost flawless. We had one hiccup Friday night -- a battery problem on the race car and we had to shut it down, otherwise it would have been a good run. Besides that, it's been a good weekend. We couldn't be any happier. We made some changes to the FRAM AirHog dragster after Phoenix and it has responded really well. This is a big confidence booster for all of us; it puts us in the top half of the field and we haven't been there yet, this year. We're going to go in tomorrow, full bore."

Andy Carrier, who along with his brother, Mark, owns Carrier Boyz Racing, was also happy with the result. "We put together a string of good, consistent runs and have gained some confidence going into eliminations tomorrow. No run is easy in Top Fuel but we feel good about our opportunity," he said.

McClenathan will face Scott Weis in the first round of competition on Sunday. Weis qualified in the 14th position with a pass of 4.686 seconds at 315.67 mph. The Lake Havasu City, Ariz., driver, who is in his 15th year of his professional driving career and 14th time at Gainesville Raceway, begins his quest for the Top Fuel title on Sunday when eliminations for all classes beginning at 11 a.m. Time is local Gainesville time (ET) and subject to change at anytime.

Qualifying highlights for the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals can be seen on ESPN2 on early Sunday morning (Mar. 20)) from 12:30 a.m.-2:30 a.m. ESPN2 will also air same-day television coverage of eliminations from 5 until 7 p.m. on Sunday afternoon (Mar.20). Television times are Eastern Time (ET) and subject to change at anytime. Check local listings.

-cbr-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Scott Weis , Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac , Todd Smith