Denver: Cory McClenathan preview

McClenathan hopes for turnaround in second half of season MORRISON, Colo. (July 12, 2005) -- The first half of the season did not yield the type of results that Cory McClenathan expected. He hopes for a rebound as the second half gets underway...

McClenathan hopes for turnaround in second half of season

MORRISON, Colo. (July 12, 2005) -- The first half of the season did not yield the type of results that Cory McClenathan expected. He hopes for a rebound as the second half gets underway at the 26th annual NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, near Denver, just north of the historic town of Morrison, Colo., this weekend.

"To say the Carrier boys and I are disappointed with our season thus far would be an understatement. We are a lot better team than we showed in the first half of the season," said McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM AirHog Top Fuel dragster.

"We definitely have a lot more good cars out there this season than in the past few years. That makes the competition tougher than it ever has been. But the facts are that it's really no excuse as far as I'm concerned for the performance of our FRAM AirHog Top Fuel dragster."

"We have to find a way to get out of our slump. This is not an easy sport or everybody would be doing it and be successful at it. Everybody on this team works hard and nobody here wants to lose. Todd Smith (crew chief) and Bob Bauer (clutch specialist) have their work cut out for them starting this weekend in Denver."

"We have to step our performance up a couple notches this second half to be satisfied with our overall season. The string of first round losses we have experienced this season cannot carryover to the last half of the season. We must get from A to B consistently while improving the performance of our FRAM AirHog dragster. We have to go rounds to have a chance at running with the leaders."

The Mopar Mile-High Nationals leads off the first of three consecutive events -- Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. -- on three consecutive weekends, which among the drag racing community is known as the "Western Swing."

Historically, McClenathan has done well on the Western Swing and at Bandimere Speedway. In 12 previous events here, he has two wins, a runner-up and has advanced to the semifinals three other times. He defeated Tony Schumacher in 1997 and followed that up with a win over Joe Amato the following year. In 2002, he was runner-up to Darrell Russell.

McClenathan's very first win in NHRA came at Bandimere Speedway. In his first national event race as a sportsman driver in Top Alcohol Dragster, McClenathan defeated the late Blaine Johnson in 1989.

"You can't go by the books at Denver," reflected McClenathan. "We have some rule adjustments -- percent of nitro and blower overdrive -- in place for Denver. I'm not exactly sure how it will affect our car this race. We've got to find a way to chase the conditions and the track at Bandimere. The altitude thing is tricky and the weather will be very hot."

"The plus side is that I've done well at Denver and that makes me, as a driver, comfortable. Hopefully, that will continue and we'll have a good weekend. That would be just what we need right now."

In 1997, McClenathan made a clean sweep by winning all three races that make up the Western Swing. Only four nitro drivers have accomplished that feat. In addition to McClenathan, five-time Top Fuel champion Joe Amato turned the hat trick in 1991, 13-time Funny Car champ John Force in 1994 and two-time Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon added his name to the short list in 2003.

-carrierboyzracing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan