Denver: McClenathan reaching for victory

MORRISON, Colo.- Cory McClenathan is mid-way through his first season with a new team and he couldn't be happier. OK, he would have liked to pick up the first 12 event victories in the NHRA POWERade season, but hey, other than that, he's ...

MORRISON, Colo.- Cory McClenathan is mid-way through his first season with a new team and he couldn't be happier. OK, he would have liked to pick up the first 12 event victories in the NHRA POWERade season, but hey, other than that, he's happy.

McClenathan joined forces with long-time drag racing family Jerry and Darrell Gwynn before the start of the 2003 season. The partnership hasn't netted a win for the Yankees/Berryman dragster yet, but they are still pleased with the early results.

"Every time you start with a new team you don't know what you are in for," McClenathan said. "In the short amount of time I have been here with (crew chiefs) John Stewart and Todd Smith, we have all gotten the crew to work together well. The guys are doing great already."

McClenathan and the Gwynn group have been the runner-up at two events in 2003 (Pomona, Calif., and Houston) and will be working toward the first win of the season during the 24th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, July 18-20, at Bandimere Speedway. Darrell Russell, Del Worsham, Mike Edwards and Matt Hines are the defending winners of the $1.8 million race. It is the 13th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

After the first 12 events of the season, McClenathan is in the No. 4 spot in the Top Fuel point standings.

"I can't complain about this situation at all," he said. "After being out of racing for a year and being with David Baca's team last year, I have learned a lot of patience. Good things will come from this team. They have proven they can produce good results."

McClenathan and Darrell Gwynn may have just teamed up for the first time as racing partners, but McClenathan has fond memories of their first deal.

"I bought my first Top Fuel car from Darrell," McClenathan said. "Working with Jerry and Darrell is great. They work at things the same way as I do. They are equally passionate about racing and they've made it real easy for me to join this team. This is a great place to call home."

While the Yankees/Berryman dragster hasn't been to winner's circle in 2003 yet, McClenathan is a proven winner as a driver. He has 27 wins in 44 final round appearances.

"I want to win a couple of races because that is what we are all out here for," McClenathan said. "But I want to win even more for the Gwynn's. This is a three-year deal and I am very excited about where it is going. I know this is going to be a building season, but we have had some good results. I think we are capable of winning a couple of races before the year is out.

"The Gwynn's haven't been in winner's circle for a while and just like me, they are anxious to get back there and I am anxious to do whatever I can to help them."

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Del Worsham , David Baca , Cory McClenathan , Darrell Gwynn , Mike Edwards , Todd Smith