McClenathan exits Indy in opening round CLERMONT, Ind. (September 7, 2003) -- As the quickest field in NHRA Top Fuel history took to the Indianapolis Raceway Park quarter-mile for the 49th annual NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Cory McClenathan,...
McClenathan exits Indy in opening round
CLERMONT, Ind. (September 7, 2003) -- As the quickest field in NHRA Top Fuel history took to the Indianapolis Raceway Park quarter-mile for the 49th annual NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Cory McClenathan, from Riverside, Calif., driver of the Darrell Gwynn-owned, NY Yankees/Berryman Products dragster, squared off against Rhonda Hartman-Smith, from Williamston, S.C., in the opening round of final eliminations.
The pair left almost together. Cory hazed the tires around half-track and that allowed Hartman-Smith to head toward the finish line. She crossed in 4.612 seconds, well ahead of Cory Mac's slowing 5.054. The loss ended McClenathan's chance this year for a third Indy victory. In two meetings this year between the pair, Hartman-Smith has taken the win light both times.
"We had a good qualifying run here but weren't able to capitalize during eliminations. If we are to keep this NY Yankees/Berryman Products dragster high in the POWERade point standing we must start going rounds. We'll regroup and go after them next race," said McClenathan, who was slightly under the weather this weekend.
McClenathan held onto fifth in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. Cory Mac now has 832 points, 150 behind Tony Schumacher in fourth. Larry Dixon leads all drivers with 1594 points. Schumacher took the Top Fuel title at the 49th annual NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, his third Indy win.
No time off for McClenathan and the Darrell Gwynn Racing/NY Yankees/Berryman Products team as they move straight to Reading, Penn. for the Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, September 11-14 -- the first of a trio of races on three consecutive weekends.
Gann runner-up at Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
CLERMONT, Ind. (September 7, 2003) -- Unlike the nitro supercharged Top Fuel and Funny Car classes, which produced the quickest fields in the NHRA history books for the 49th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the normally aspirated engines of the Pro Stock classes -- Pro Stock (cars) and Pro Stock Bike -- had to settle for just being quick.
From Angelle Savoie's 7.154 second pass, good for the top spot, to the 7.263 of No. 16 qualifier Brian Schultz, the Pro Stock Bikes took a back seat to no one on the super quick Indianapolis Raceway Park quarter-mile track.
In the opening round, No. 3 qualifier Shawn Gann, aboard the Mac Tools/Berryman Products/Gann Speed Airtech Suzuki, met Chris Reuter, who qualified 14th, with Gann coming away with the win. In fact, Reuter, in his first Indy race, gave the win to Gann when he red-lighted (left too soon.). Reuter left .007 of a second too soon. Gann moved to round two against GT Tonglet, aboard one of the two Harleys that made the field this year at Indy.
It was another easy victory for Gann, as Tonglet suffered the same fate as Reuter when he red-lighted. This placed Gann in the final four and he would face Antron Brown, aboard the U.S. Army Suzuki, in the semifinals.
For the third time in three rounds, Gann's opponent saw red. Brown red-lighted by three thousandths of a second and Gann advanced to the final round against Reggie Showers, who won the K&N Filters Klash, a special race-within-a-race held in conjunction with the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, albeit one week ago.
In the finals, Showers got a big advantage at the green light (.033 seconds) over Gann and never looked back. Although Gann ran quicker and faster, Showers won by one thousandths of a second. Denied his third career win, Gann had to settle for the runner-up position.
Gann is second in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Bike standings with 740 points. Geno Scali leads all riders with 892 points.
The next event for Pro Stock Bike, the 12th of 15 motorcycle events on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, is the NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway Park, just outside Reading, September 11-14.