Todd Smith named McClenathan's crew chief

Todd Smith named crew chief for Carrier Boyz Racing BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 29, 2004) -- Race winners on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series are sometimes decided by thousandths of a second -- quicker than a blink of the eye. But the raw power...

Todd Smith named crew chief for Carrier Boyz Racing

BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 29, 2004) -- Race winners on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series are sometimes decided by thousandths of a second -- quicker than a blink of the eye. But the raw power of a Top Fuel dragster must be accompanied by consistency to produce a championship or high finish in the NHRA POWERade point standings.

Looking for a performance advantage and overall consistency, Andy and Mark Carrier, owners of Carrier Boyz Racing, have named Todd Smith as crew chief on the Cory McClenathan-driven, Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster effective immediately. Smith replaces Jimmy Walsh.

Thus far in three races on the 23-race 2004 schedule, the Carrier Boyz Racing dragster is seventh in the Top Fuel point standings, has qualified in the top half of the field once and has advanced to the second round only once in those three races.

"As a team, we are having trouble finding consistency this year," said Andy Carrier. "In this sport, it's all about performance and consistency. Since the crew chief is the person responsible for the on-track performance, he is also the same person, when the performance goes bad, that shoulders the result of poor production. As a result of our slow start this season, Mark and I feel that it is time for change and redirection.

"Jimmy Walsh and Bob Bauer got us from point A to today and both Andy and I are grateful for that," continued Mark Carrier. "There is no way that Andy and I could have got to this point without them. We respect both Jimmy and Bob and look for our friendship with both of them to continue long after this situation is behind us. The bottom line is that we feel we must act in the best business interest of Carrier Boyz Racing and make adjustments as we pursue the NHRA POWERade championship. We feel that Todd Smith is the individual to take this program to the next level."

"While wishing Jimmy and Bob the best of everything in their new endeavors, Mark and I would also like to welcome Todd Smith to Carrier Boyz Racing. We look forward to good things happening. Everyone associated with this team is excited about the new beginning," concluded Andy Carrier.

McClenathan, who assumed the driver position on the Carrier Boyz Racing team just prior to the start of the 2004 season, echoed the Carrier brothers thoughts, "I watch the individuals in our sports progress over the years and last year I thought that Jimmy Walsh did a great job getting Carrier Boyz Racing established in the sport. I appreciate the time I was able to spend this season working with Jimmy and Bob Bauer, but from a business perspective this is the avenue the team has decided to take. I agree with Andy and Mark that it takes consistency to be at the top of this sport and that we needed new direction to achieve the overall goals that the Carrier brothers have established for this team.

"I've known Jimmy Walsh and Bob for a long time and consider them my friends and wish them well in this sport in the future. For me, it's now time to begin working once again with Todd Smith and Julie Gonzalez. I'm excited. I spent all last year with them when I drove for Darrell Gwynn Racing. It may take us a few races to get things figured out but we look forward to the future here at Carrier Boyz Racing. Thanks to Andy and Mark for giving me the opportunity to drive and be a part of this organization."

Todd Smith, the son of two-time NHRA Comp Eliminator champion, Charlie Smith, began his motorsports career racing motorcycles. Moving to the NHRA circuit as a crewman in the late '80s, Smith literally started at the bottom, but soon worked his way up the crew member ranks. This career path allowed him to gain invaluable knowledge regarding every aspect of a Top Fuel dragster.

Smith's learning curve gave him the opportunity to work on many championship caliber teams including five-years at Kalitta Motorsports serving as co- crew chief to the legendary Connie Kalitta and Ed "Ace" McCulloch. Most recently, from 2000 through 2003, he served as co-crew chief on the Top Fuel dragster of Darrell Gwynn Racing.

Last year, with Cory Mac as driver, Smith helped lead Gwynn's team to a fifth place finish in the POWERade Top Fuel point standings, as well as career best time and speed for McClenathan at 4.463 seconds at 332.10 mph.

"I look forward to the opportunity at Carrier Boyz Racing and working once again with Cory," said Smith. "In my dealings with Andy and Mark Carrier, they impress me as owners that want to win. That attitude matches my philosophy of fielding a winning and professional team. I can't wait for my first race at Las Vegas."

Also, joining Carrier Boyz Racing is Julie Gonzalez, who will be responsible for the team operations as well as the sponsorship and hospitality activities.

"Julie Gonzalez will be an asset and important part of Carrier Boyz Racing. Her job description will cover a broad area of responsibility. She will oversee all team operations, assist in the area of sponsorship solicitation and sponsor liaison and will organize and oversee all hospitality with our marketing partners. I have seen first hand how she performed and how she handled these job functions at Darrell Gwynn Racing and her previous experience will make Carrier Boyz Racing a much more efficient operation," said McClenathan.

-cbr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Darrell Gwynn , Cory Mac , Connie Kalitta , Todd Smith