Gainesville: Cory McClenathan preview

Cory McClenathan optimistic about adding another title to his 27 career wins, GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Tenaciously and tenuously holding on to the title of winningest active Top Fuel driver, Cory McClenathan, driver of the Darrell Gwynn Racing NY...

Cory McClenathan optimistic about adding another title to his 27 career wins,

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Tenaciously and tenuously holding on to the title of winningest active Top Fuel driver, Cory McClenathan, driver of the Darrell Gwynn Racing NY Yankees/Berryman Products Top Fuel Dragster, sets his sights on the NHRA Mac Tool Gatornationals which will be contested March 13-16 at Gainesville Raceway in the Sunshine State of Florida.

McClenathan, 40, from Riverside, Calif., is entering his 13th season of professional driving, discounting the 2001 season when he ran only one event. Although he has never won a title at the Mac Tools Gatornationals, the veteran driver is optimistic about adding to his career total of 27 wins.

Thus far, in two of the 23 races on the 2003 NHRA POWERADE® Drag Racing Series, McClenathan has already been in one final round, finishing runner-up to Larry Dixon at Pomona, Calif., and who knows what would have happened at the last race in Phoenix if a sheared blower pulley had not ended his day prematurely in the opening round.

"For a brand new operation that came together the week prior to the season-opening Winternationals, Darrell Gwynn Racing has done pretty good to date," said McClenathan, fifth in the POWERADE Top Fuel point standings. "We've mixed it up with the young guys pretty well going to one final. In Phoenix, the NY Yankees/Berryman Products Dragster was running pretty well when a fluke mechanical failure ended our day early.

"We've had some ups and downs at the Mac Tools Gatornationals. I've never won a race at Gainesville Raceway, although I did make it to the semifinals last year. That's one downfall. I have qualified number one there a couple of times. That's the bright spot. I'm hoping that with the relationship with Darrell Gwynn and Darrell Gwynn Racing, it being their hometown and the success they've had there, we'll go in there and try that much harder. I'm optimistic. Who knows, by Sunday night of the race, I might be able to put the Mac Tools Gatornationals on my win list. It would be great to win the race sponsored by our long time marketing partner Mac Tools."

Team owner Darrell Gwynn has the following thoughts about the Gatornationals: "The Gators are always kind of a distraction for us because we have a lot of friends, family and fans there. On the other hand, because Gainesville is our home track, we love seeing and talking to all our old fans and meeting new ones. But, all in all, we take this race as serious as any on the schedule. It's also a race we want to win for our sponsor of 15 years, Mac Tools, who also sponsors the event. Its pretty cool in the winner circle having all your friends and family there," said Gwynn, who has won the Gatornationals twice and finished in the runner-up spot once.

Professional fuel classes begin qualifying for the Mac Tools Gatornationals with two session at noon and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 14 and concludes on Saturday, March 15 with two additional sessions again at noon and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations get underway at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 16.

The Darrell Gwynn Racing/NY Yankees/Berryman Products Top Fuel Dragster competes on the NHRA POWERADE Drag Racing Series. Headquartered in Davie, Fla., Darrell Gwynn and his father, Jerry, each former NHRA world champions, lead Darrell Gwynn Racing. The team's race car is driven by Cory McClenathan and tuned by crew chief John Stewart.

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, Inc. These fine companies have been 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.

-dgr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Cory McClenathan , Darrell Gwynn