Gainesville: Cory McClenathan eliminations summary

McClenathan out in Round 2; moves to 4th in points. GAINESVILLE, Fla.. (March 16, 2003) -- Cory McClenathan, from Riverside, Calif., fell victim to Brandon Bernstein, currently one of the hottest driver in Top Fuel, at the 34th annual NHRA Mac...

McClenathan out in Round 2; moves to 4th in points.

GAINESVILLE, Fla.. (March 16, 2003) -- Cory McClenathan, from Riverside, Calif., fell victim to Brandon Bernstein, currently one of the hottest driver in Top Fuel, at the 34th annual NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals, the third of 23 events on the 2003 NHRA POWERade (r) Drag Racing Series at Gainesville Raceway.

McClenathan, who qualified seventh, was paired against Darrell Russell, from Hockley, Texas, in the opening round of eliminations. Russell gained a small advantage at the green light, but McClenathan quickly took the lead in his Darrell Gwynn Racing/NY Yankees/Berryman Products Top Fuel Dragster and raced toward the finish line and the win light.

Bernstein, from Lake Forest, Calif., who took over the ride left vacant by his father Kenny Bernstein at the start of this season, was the quarterfinal round opponent for McClenathan. The pair left together with McClenathan holding a slight lead through half-track before Bernstein powered by to take the win.

"We're going low 60s (4.60 seconds) and winning some rounds, but I want to win them all," said McClenathan after the loss. "Nobody hates to lose more than I do. Nobody! But make no mistake this NY Yankees/ Berryman crew, led by John Stewart, is doing a great job. We didn't get to do any preseason testing, so you might say this race is our third test session.

"Brandon (Bernstein) has done a great job driving the red beer car. We left together and at half track I thought I'm looking pretty good. About the 1000-foot mark he drove up beside me and I knew I was in a race. It turned out we started dropping cylinders on the big end and they ran strong all the way through. They're hot right now.

McClenathan, with 27 career wins, joined Darrell Gwynn Racing just prior to season-opening NHRA K&N Filters Winternationals earlier this month. The 2003 season marks his 13th year behind the butterfly wheel of a Top Fuel dragster.

McClenathan moves to fourth in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. He will leave the Mac Tools Gatornationals with 177 points. "Because of our late start and lack of testing, if anyone would have said Darrell Gwynn Racing would be fourth in points after three races I would have said, 'no way.' I think this is a great testimonial to the team that Darrell and Jerry Gwynn have assembled," reflected McClenathan.

About Darrell Gwynn Racing:
Returning to Darrell Gwynn Racing in 2003 is an impressive contingent of continuing marketing partners including the New York Yankees (currently celebrating their 100th anniversary in baseball), GMC, Mac Tools, MBNA Bank N.A., and Winnebago Industries. These fine companies will be joined this year by an array of new team and driver marketing partners including Berryman Products, Centennial Batteries, Don Steves Chevrolet, Dyn-O-Mat, Fabtech Motorsports and Negley Electric.

About Berryman Products:
Berryman Products, Inc., a privately held company based in Arlington, Texas, manufactures and distributes the highest quality professional automotive chemical products throughout the US and internationally. With warehouse facilities in Alabama, Texas and California, Berryman products are sold to major auto parts chains, mass merchants and wholesale suppliers, independent automotive repair shops and car dealers.

-dgr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Cory McClenathan , Brandon Bernstein , Darrell Gwynn , Jerry Gwynn