Cory McClenathan Will Drive JEG'S Top Fuel Car at Pontiac Nationals The Carrier Boyz (Mark and Andy) and JEG'S -- two family names synonymous with drag racing -- are uniting for the 42nd annual NHRA Pontiac Performance Nationals at National...
Cory McClenathan Will Drive JEG'S Top Fuel Car at Pontiac Nationals
The Carrier Boyz (Mark and Andy) and JEG'S -- two family names synonymous with drag racing -- are uniting for the 42nd annual NHRA Pontiac Performance Nationals at National Trail Raceway, May 18-21.
Cory McClenathan will drive a special Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM Boost Top Fuel dragster that will be wearing the distinctive JEG'S Mail Order yellow and black paint scheme for this event only. This is the first time since 1981 that a yellow and black JEG'S Top Fuel car has competed at National Trail.
Jeg Coughlin Sr., founder of Delaware, Ohio-based Jeg's Automotive, Inc., had Billy Williams behind the wheel of the JEG'S Top Fuel dragster 25 years ago for the NHRA Spring Nationals at his home track. Williams qualified No. 1 at the event.
JEG'S is an associate sponsor of Carrier Boyz Racing. McClenathan will be wearing a JEG'S Mail Order fire suit and custom-painted helmet. The crew will all be wearing JEG'S crew shirts. All of the items will be auctioned off later, with all proceeds going to the JEG'S Foundation "Racing for Cancer Research" efforts.
"This is our first year with JEG'S and, obviously, our relationship is growing and growing," said McClenathan, a veteran Top Fuel driver with 28 career victories, including one at National Trail Raceway (1996). "Racing at Columbus and being in full JEG'S Mail Order colors and racing for cancer research are very special to me. My daughter's mother, Kim Hanson, has lymphoma, so I understand what cancer can do to a family.
"On the other side, I could not be doing this without the blessing of the people at FRAM Boost and Honeywell," continued McClenathan. "We are grateful to Jeff Bye, Steve LaValle and the people from Prestone, Autolite and Bendix. I'm excited about this being the first JEG'S Top Fuel car in 25 years. We want to do well at this race for Jeg Sr. and his sons, Jeg Jr., Mike, Troy and John."
McClenathan's new-look dragster now has six runs on it and, if the last two are any indication, crew chief Wes Cerny and Tony Shortall, his assistant, are close to dialing in a very competitive race combination.
"Wes and the crew worked very hard getting our new car together after our accident (April 28 at Bristol, Tenn.) and the car is responding to the tune-ups, " added McClenathan. "We just had our other car running good when the accident happened. I know it won't take long for Wes and Tony to get it going."
McClenathan qualified 10th (4.580 seconds at 327.66 mph) at Atlanta (May 6) and went 4.561 at an impressive 330.39 mph (in much better racing conditions) during eliminations but lost to Tony Schumacher's 4.448, the quickest run of the weekend.
"It felt good to relax at home a bit between races," McClenathan said. "I' m excited to go racing again. I'm feeling much better. The soreness (from the accident) is about gone and I'll be ready to go. I appreciate everything everyone has done for me since the accident. I had 149 e-mails waiting when I got home and the e-mails and phone calls keep coming in.
"National Trail is one track where I really haven't done well. With JEG'S on board and Mac Tools from the area, we'd sure like to get a win for them, along with all our other sponsors, too."
While the Coughlin family built its mail order business and won many NHRA races in Pro Stock and Sportsman categories over the years, Mark and Andy's father Larry founded IHRA and built the original Bristol Dragway and Bristol Motor Speedway.
Carrier Boyz Racing wants to thank all its sponsors. Without them, this would not be possible: FRAM, Bendix, Mac Tools, GMC, Jeg's, Torco Racing Fuels, Prestone, Autolite, Fabtech, PurePower and American Racing Wheels.