Pomona: Cory McClenathan eliminations summary

Cory McClenathan runner up at NHRA Winternationals in New York Yankees/Berryman Products sponsored dragster. POMONA, Calif. -- After qualifying 13th, Cory McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif., driver of the Darrell Gwynn Racing NY ...

Cory McClenathan runner up at NHRA Winternationals in New York Yankees/Berryman Products sponsored dragster.

POMONA, Calif. -- After qualifying 13th, Cory McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif., driver of the Darrell Gwynn Racing NY Yankees/Berryman Products Dragster, advanced to the final round and finished runner up to Larry Dixon at the NHRA K&N Filters Winternationals, the season-opening event on the 2003 NHRA POWERade® Drag Racing Series.

This is the second consecutive final round for McClenathan at Pomona. He won the 2002 AAA Auto Club of Southern California Finals last November.

En route to the final round, McClenathan defeated Brandon Bernstein, David Grubnic and Melanie Troxel.

At the end of his run in the second round, McClenathan visited the sand trap at the end of Pomona Raceway. After a winning effort over Grubnic, the veteran driver was unable to make the final turn off and ended the round in the sand trap.

McClenathan recalled his adventure, "I pulled the chute early. It didn't blossom right away, so I grabbed the other chute. It didn't want to come out either, so I grabbed a handful of brake. By that time it was too late -- the sand was coming. I knew I couldn't make the turn; I was going too fast.

"We didn't have really good brakes due to the fact that we blew one of the rotors up starting the car during the warm up. It's just one of those things, everything happened at the same time. If that's all the bad luck we have, I'll feel pretty good about it."

"I'd also like to thank Joe Amato and Darrell Russell and crew chief Wayne Dupuy for the help from their crew to ready us for the semifinals"

In the final round McClenathan recorded an elapsed time of 4.597 seconds at 309.42 mph to Dixon's winning pass of 4.541 seconds at 322.04 mph.

For McClenathan, this was his 43rd final round. He has won 27 Top Fuel national events.

Reflecting on the action today, McClenathan said, "This is like a dream. The only thing we could have done better is have won the race. We took a group of good crew guys, an old driver and in only a few weeks came out here to a runner up position. We have a good hot rod and this is the way to start a season. I couldn't be happier for this team. Leaving second in points, I'm ecstatic."

Two weeks ago we were just hoping to race and come in here and qualify, " said team owner Darrell Gwynn. Second place is a pretty big accomplishment. We've got to take off our hat to the entire team. It was a team win and how about Cory. He drove like he's been driving all winter. We had no preseason test time but we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for our sponsors -- the Yankees, Berryman, Mac Tools, MBNA, GMC, Dynomat, Winnebago, Centennial Batteries, Don Steves Chevrolet, Negley Electric, and Fabtech Motorsports.

The next event on the 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series for Cory McClenathan and Darrell Gwynn Racing is the Checker/Schuck's/Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., near Phoenix. The event unfolds February 20-23, with professional qualifying beginning on Friday.

-dgr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Joe Amato , David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Melanie Troxel , Brandon Bernstein , Darrell Gwynn