First round loss costly in point battle for McClenathan MADISON, Ill., June 30, 2002 -- As Cory McClenathan pulled to the starting line today against Melanie Troxel for the opening round of the NHRA Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway ...
First round loss costly in point battle for McClenathan
MADISON, Ill., June 30, 2002 -- As Cory McClenathan pulled to the starting line today against Melanie Troxel for the opening round of the NHRA Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, his thoughts were centered on one thing: winning.
But this day McClenathan wasn't dealt a winning hand.
Troxel, from Parker, Colo., was away first at the green light. McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif., driver of the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports Top Fuel Dragster, followed right behind. But being the first pair on the track neither team had any data on the status of the track today and what it could hold.
Both overpowered the track and broke the big Goodyears loose and from there it became an on again, off again, tire spinning battle to the finish line with Troxel reaching home first.
The lost was costly for McClenathan as he gave up a great opportunity to pick up points on point leader Larry Dixon who did not qualify for this event. But it got more costly after the round was over.
Coming into this race, McClenathan, third in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings, held only a five point lead over fourth place Tony Schumacher. Fortunately for McClenathan and the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports Team, they dodged the proverbial bullet - - Schumacher lost to Mitch King in the first round also; or so everybody thought.
In a post round inspection, King was disqualified for a fuel violation and the win was awarded to Schumacher. As a result, Schumacher will vault pass McClenathan in the Top Fuel point standings.
After a few weeks off, the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports Team will try to regain third in the Top Fuel point battle when racing resumes at the 23rd annual NHRA Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals. The event unfolds July 18-21 at Bandimere Speedway in the Denver suburb of Morrison, Colo. The Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals begins the first of three consecutive weekends of drag racing and starts the second half of the 2002 race schedule on the NHRA POWERade® Drag Racing Series.