Sonoma: Cory McClenathan preview

McClenathan, Carrier Boyz Team Want to Win Sponsor's FRAM Autolite Race It's that time of the year again. Cory McClenathan and the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM Boost Top Fuel team are facing their most important race of the season this weekend at...

McClenathan, Carrier Boyz Team Want to Win Sponsor's FRAM Autolite Race

It's that time of the year again. Cory McClenathan and the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM Boost Top Fuel team are facing their most important race of the season this weekend at Infineon Raceway: the FRAM Autolite Nationals.

"All of us on the team feel the same way about this race," said McClenathan. "If you're going to win any race, it definitely has to be your sponsor's race. That's what we really want to do. We want to do well and show them we have what it takes to be a top runner."

This would be the perfect time for crew chief Wes Cerny and assistant crew chief Tony Shortall to find the sweet spot on their new chassis, the one without the slight flinch that can be the harbinger of tire shake and tire smoke.

They spent Monday at Pacific Raceways in Seattle making four test runs while looking for different ways to get the new car -- with thicker tubing than ever run before -- to react consistently.

"We worked with the car to get it aggressive to 330 (feet) and it responded," said Shortall. "The track was getting worse as the day went on and it was tough to get down it. We decided to tweak the tune-up and are bringing what we learned in Seattle to Sonoma to keep improving it.

"This is the first chassis to use the .065 thickness tubing and there's a lot to figure out. We are a lot more comfortable because we did run 4.71 (seconds) on our first run Monday before the track got hot. Infineon is a good race track and that should help the tune-up. The heat (in Seattle) made the track hotter than we've ever experienced before . . . and that didn't help us either."

"Sure this race puts a little extra pressure on us to do well," said McClenathan, "but on the other hand, it is always good to see a lot of the key people out here supporting us. This is such a big deal because every Honeywell company that's involved on this car -- FRAM, Autolite, Prestone, Bendix -- will have people at the races. Kelly O'Donnell, Jeff Bye, Dave Lundstedt and Steve LaValle are just a few.

"The guys on the crew have worked hard all season and it seems like we just can't catch a break, but I think there are times when you have to make your own breaks. That's what we'd like to do for the FRAM Honeywell folks this weekend."

-cbr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan