Phoenix: Cory McClenathan final summary

Semifinal finish for McClenathan at Phoenix Chandler, Ariz. (March 7, 2004) - Cory McClenathan handed the Carrier brothers, Andy and Mark, their first round victory of the 2004 season when he turned back Doug Herbert in the opening round of the...

Semifinal finish for McClenathan at Phoenix

Chandler, Ariz. (March 7, 2004) - Cory McClenathan handed the Carrier brothers, Andy and Mark, their first round victory of the 2004 season when he turned back Doug Herbert in the opening round of the NHRA Checkers Schuck's Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., just outside Phoenix.

The veteran driver from Riverside, Calif., then advanced to the semifinals before losing to Doug Kalitta.

In the opening round, McClenathan, in the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster, ran an elapsed time of 4.692 seconds, while Herbert lost traction and coasted to the finish line in 6.623 seconds. McClenathan then faced No. 1 qualifier David Grubnic in the quarterfinals.

McClenathan jumped out to a slight lead at the light and then raced to the win light against Grubnic. Grubnic smoked the tires as McClenathan ran the Firebird quarter-mile in 5.069 seconds. This matched Cory Mac against Grubnic's teammate Doug Kalitta in the semifinals.

McClenathan banked a .068 second advantage at the start against Kalitta, but succumbed to loss of traction shortly thereafter. As a result Kalitta took the win light in 4.740 seconds, slightly ahead of Cory Mac's 6.075-second elapsed time.

"The guys did a great job today. We had a lot to come back from," said McClenathan, after his day ended in the semifinals. "We just wanted to from A to B today. After the first round we came back and changed a few things. We knew the track was going to get worst. We broke a wheelie bar and knocked a mag out in the second round and it looked like we were going backwards. So we reeled it back in and went back to basics.

"You can't take any of the Kalitta cars too lightly. They're just too good of cars and too good of drivers. I put a little bit in the bank at the start but at what seems like our trouble point we ripped them (the tires) loose. We may have got a little too aggressive there.

"I can't say enough about the Carrier brothers, crew chief Jimmy Walsh and Bob (Bauer) and the group. They did a great job. We're a new team. I'm excited. It's a good thing."

Crew chief Jimmy Walsh echoed McClenathan's thoughts. "Can't complain. We got over our mechanical problems. The car wants to run fairly good now; although we need some adjustments we'll be okay. By Gainesville we'll have some new parts to try and I think it will get better," added Walsh.

McClenathan leaves this event with 105 points, tied for No. 6 in the POWERade Top Fuel point standing.

Catch the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster on TV. Same-day coverage of final eliminations for the Checkers Schuck's Kragen Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 with three (3) hours of viewing starting at 7 p.m. (ET) tonight.

The Carrier Boyz Racing team heads back to their shop in Bristol, Tenn., before heading to Gainesville, Fla., and the 35th annual NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, March 18-21.

-cbr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac