Grand Bend: Mark McElwee has tough weekend

GRAND BEND, ONT. - IHRA Pro Outlaw driver Mark McElwee had what all racers dread at the Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol And hosted by the Grand Bend Motorplex in Grand Bend, Ontario, a weekend filled with bad luck. Pro Outlaw...

GRAND BEND, ONT. - IHRA Pro Outlaw driver Mark McElwee had what all racers dread at the Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol And hosted by the Grand Bend Motorplex in Grand Bend, Ontario, a weekend filled with bad luck. Pro Outlaw points leader Laurie Cannister put away McElwee in the first round when his PowershieldCoatings.com entry broke after the burnout. Cannister went on to run a tough 6.124/212.31 on her single.

McElwee was optimistic about the race coming into Grand Bend, debuting his new Spitzer Y2K dragster, and running a 6.450/218.34 off the trailer to put him in the fifth spot. The road was downhill from there. McElwee's problems started when they hurt the motor during the warm up prior to the second session.

McElwee's crew, lead by his brother "Buzz" McElwee, thrashed to get the car ready to run, but it all went down the drain when the car left before the tree was activated due to parts failure. To add insult to injury, he fireballed the motor just past half-track, destroying the motor. McElwee sat out the last session, and stayed in the sixth spot, putting him against the third quickest qualifier Cannister in round one.

The team eventually withdrew from competition and was a no-show versus Cannister in round one.

"We hurt a lot of stuff this weekend," explained Mark, who finished tenth in last year's points despite missing over half of the season. "You try to have a set budget for each race and that is what allows you to follow the tour. I guess you could say that we exceeded our allotment."

McElwee will regroup and move on to the IHRA Amalie Oil Summer Nationals to be held in Cordova, Illinois, June 15-17. McElwee looks for better things to come.

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