Brainerd: Cory McClenathan final summary

McClenathan advances to quarterfinals at Brainerd BRAINERD, Minn. (August 15, 2004) -- After qualifying third, Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing Top Fuel dragster, carried the Berryman Products banner to the quarterfinals...

McClenathan advances to quarterfinals at Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn. (August 15, 2004) -- After qualifying third, Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing Top Fuel dragster, carried the Berryman Products banner to the quarterfinals during eliminations today for the NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.

In the opening round of eliminations, McClenathan, now in his 14th year in Top Fuel, began his quest for his 29th career Top Fuel win and second at Brainerd. His opponent, Gary Cooper, who qualified No. 14, is competing in his first NHRA Top Fuel eliminations.

At the green starting light the pair left virtually glued together but from then on it was all McClenathan and the Berryman Products dragster. McClenathan crossed the finish line in 4.679 seconds, the third best elapsed time of the first round. This moved the Anaheim, Calif., driver into the quarterfinals against Tony Schumacher, the current NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point leader.

Thus far this year, McClenathan has the best percentage (percentage of times driver had better reaction time) of all Top Fuel drivers in starting line reaction time. Against both Cooper and Schumacher, he added to that total. Only it didn't hold up for the win light against Schumacher.

Out of the gate first, McClenathan couldn't keep up the pace as his engine started to lose power and he could only watch as Schumacher headed to the finish line in 4.646 seconds. McClenathan stayed with it all the way and crossed the finish strip in 4.846 seconds.

"The day started good but just didn't go far enough. We needed to go more rounds but I guess the good news is that we picked up some points on sixth place," said McClenathan. "We need to do everything right at Memphis so that we have momentum going into Indy."

Tonight ESPN2 will air same-day television coverage of eliminations from 7 until 10 p.m. on Sunday. Television time is Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and subject to change at anytime. Check local listings.

Next up for the Cory Mac and the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products dragster is the NHRA O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tenn. The event takes place next weekend, August 20-22.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac