CORY MCCLENATHAN RUNNER-UP AT IHRA SKULL GEAR WORLD NATIONALS NORWALK, Ohio (August 28, 2005) -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM AirHog Top Fuel dragster, advanced to the final round at the Hooters Drag...
CORY MCCLENATHAN RUNNER-UP AT IHRA SKULL GEAR WORLD NATIONALS
NORWALK, Ohio (August 28, 2005) -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM AirHog Top Fuel dragster, advanced to the final round at the Hooters Drag Racing Series IHRA Skull Gear World Nationals presented by PPG at Norwalk Raceway Park.
In the opening round of eliminations, McClenathan, who qualified No. 1, took advantage of the loss of traction and subsequent engine failure of Rick Cooper to take the win. In the semifinals, McClenathan once again took advantage of his opponent when TJ Zizzo also smoked the Goodyear hoops, advancing the Lake Havasu City, Ariz., driver to the final round.
Last night after the final sessions of qualifying in which Cory Mac ran Clay Millican, who campaigns occasionally on the NHRA side of things, McClenathan, who has run nothing but NHRA for the last 15 years and is running his first IHRA event, had this to say: "The crew chiefs are throwing everything they have at each other and the drivers are having fun. Clay and I get along real well and we love running against him. But when it comes down to it, we still both want to win tomorrow."
And that's what it came down to today -- McClenathan versus Millican -- for the IHRA Skull Gear World Nationals Top Fuel title.
Today it was Millican who got to the finish line first. With the air temperature around 85-degrees and the track temperature at 115-degrees, McClenathan began to haze the tires before half track and that was all Millican needed to race to the win light. McClenathan's elapsed time of 4.901 seconds trailed Millican's 4.752.
"I felt this FRAM AirHog was the car to beat this day, but Millican thought otherwise,"said McClenathan, following the final round match up. "Clay showed once again why he's a true champion and a class act. Their team did a great job over there.
"But so did this Carrier Boyz Racing team. It was a tricky track, so the conditions were interesting and threw some curve balls at (crew chief) Todd Smith and (clutch specialist) Bob Bauer and they responded really well. And I can't say enough about the guys on the crew. They've gone long hard hours over the last two or three NHRA races, testing in Indy earlier this week, then the race here and now back to Indy for the longest and most prestigious race on the NHRA schedule, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. My thanks to the guys. It's because of your long hours and hard work that we are going to semifinal and final rounds.
"Finally, let me thank all the fans this weekend at Norwalk. You are a great bunch. Also, it was great working with Bill Bader and his people and my hats off to all the officials at IHRA. You did a great job and put on a great show, all the while making us feel welcome. Thanks. Hopefully, by being here we didn't knock someone in the points chase out of qualifying but the bottom line is that it was an awesome weekend."