Baytown: Cory McClenathan preview

Operational problems corrected, McClenathan looks to Houston BAYTOWN, Texas (April 12, 2004) -- The good news is that at the last race, in Las Vegas, the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster driven by Cory McClenathan recorded...

Operational problems corrected, McClenathan looks to Houston

BAYTOWN, Texas (April 12, 2004) -- The good news is that at the last race, in Las Vegas, the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster driven by Cory McClenathan recorded a season-best elapsed time with new crew chief Todd Smith handling the tuning duties.

The bad news was that at that same event the team was unable to make the start in the second round because of what McClenathan called "operational problems" due to the limited preparation time the team had to ready the car for Las Vegas.

The good news entering this weekend's NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park is that McClenathan says the "operational problems" are a thing of the past.

"We've taken the time between Vegas and Houston to gear up so this team has everything it needs, including all compatible parts, so that what happened to us at Vegas won't happen to us again. The bottom line is we have spent the last ten days to correct the operational problems. This has given Todd and the guys enough time to go through the trailer and reorganize. We've even changed a few things on the race car and are now ready to go after them this weekend in Houston," said McClenathan.

The California driver remains optimistic about the team's future and their chances for the 2004 NHRA POWERade Top Fuel championship chase.

"Our goal remains to finish in the top five in POWERade points," says McClenathan. "We need to step our performance up a little bit. Our performance in Vegas showed that Todd Smith and the gang have us going the right direction. I think over the next few races, conditions permitting, Todd will slowly try to move our elapsed time down into the low 50s (4.50 seconds) and high 40s (4.40 seconds).

"As to Houston, if the weather is right, I think you'll see a few cars in the high 40s and a whole bunch in the low to mid 50s, including us. Todd will continue to work with our set up and hopefully you'll see a small performance gain from the Berryman Products dragster."

This weekend's qualifying schedule for fuel cars at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals is two sessions at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday and two more on Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. Top Fuel will lead off final eliminations at 11 a.m. on Sunday. (All times CDT -- local Houston time.)

For those unable to attend the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in person but who would like to join the action, tune into two hours of qualifying highlights at 10 p.m. on Saturday (April 17) and two hours of same-day coverage of eliminations at 5 p.m. on Sunday (April 18). (Both shows are on ESPN2 and all times are (ET).)

-cbr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Todd Smith