Phoenix: Cory McClenathan Saturday summary

McClenathan, the winningest active driver in Top Fuel, qualifies in top half of field. CHANDLER, Ariz. (February 22, 2003) -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Darrell Gwynn Racing NY Yankees/Berryman Products Top Fuel Dragster, qualified 7th for...

McClenathan, the winningest active driver in Top Fuel, qualifies in top half of field.

CHANDLER, Ariz. (February 22, 2003) -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Darrell Gwynn Racing NY Yankees/Berryman Products Top Fuel Dragster, qualified 7th for this weekend's 19th annual NHRA Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, the second of 23 events on the 2003 NHRA POWERADE ® Drag Racing Series at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., near Phoenix.

At last year's Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, McClenathan qualified 9th and exited in the first round. In 11 races at Firebird, he has two wins and one runner-up to his credit. To qualifying 7th this year the veteran driver from Riverside, Calif., recorded a pass of 4.583 seconds at 324.28 mph in Saturday's final qualifying session. This is the 172 time in 217 races that McClenathan has qualified in the top half of the field.

McClenathan's opening round opponent in tomorrow's eliminations will be Jim Head, from Columbus, Ohio. Head qualified 10th with a run of 4.640 seconds at 294.56 mph. In their careers, the pair have met 30 times with McClenathan claiming 19 wins.

Reviewing qualifying, McClenathan, with 27 career wins, the most of any active Top Fuel driver, said, "We weren't very happy with the first two runs on Friday but today it seems that we've got something that we can work with here. The NY Yankees/Berryman car ran 60 (4.60 seconds) earlier today and 58 (4.58 seconds) in the final session. We're real happy with this car. To go out and run 50's again, this consistent, this quick -- we're pretty happy about that.

"We got some big time sluggers out there -- (Brandon) Bernstein and the Mac Tools car with Doug (Kalitta) driving it. They both ran a 51 (4.51 seconds). I don't know if we have enough for them. Kind of like bringing a rubber band to a gun fight with those guys, but you have to come out here and take your chances. We'll probably have to throw the whole trailer at them to see if we can run a low 50 (4.50 seconds) and surprise them. At least we're in a position now where we can do that."

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. These fine companies will be 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.

Berryman Products, Inc., a privately held company based in Arlington, Texas, manufactures and distributes the highest quality professional automotive chemical products throughout the US and internationally. With warehouse facilities in Alabama, Texas and California, Berryman products are sold to major auto parts chains, mass merchants and wholesale suppliers, independent automotive repair shops and car dealers. To learn more visit their website at www.berrymanproducts.com or contact the company at 800-433-1704.

-dgr-

Be part of something big

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