Brainerd: Cory McClenathan eliminations summary

McClenathan out early - Asserts team will be ready for Indy BRAINERD, Minn. (August 17, 2003) - Entering today's eliminations, Cory McClenathan, driver of the NY Yankees/ Berryman Products dragster, and the Darrell Gwynn Racing Team continued to...

McClenathan out early - Asserts team will be ready for Indy

BRAINERD, Minn. (August 17, 2003) - Entering today's eliminations, Cory McClenathan, driver of the NY Yankees/ Berryman Products dragster, and the Darrell Gwynn Racing Team continued to search for the proper tune-up and set up to advance rounds at the Lucas Oil Nationals being contested this weekend at Brainerd International Raceway.

The team has struggled through the recently completed "Western Swing", with a quarterfinal finish being the best outing during the three-race span. After qualifying 13th at Brainerd, McClenathan indicated that the team's times, while consistent, are not quick enough to compete at the top level and they must find the answers to return to performance levels of earlier this season. His crew chief, John Stewart is cautiously optimistic about the outlook for eliminations.

"The last few tracks we've been on have been really hot," said Stewart, "and we've been struggling in the heat. Here we never caught up with the track. It was a lot better than we thought it was. We've found a few problems and adjusted those. We're going to go out and give it a little more motor, a little more clutch and a little timing. We are set up to run in the 60's (4.60 second range). We step on it a little and go up there and see what she'll do."

McClenathan, from Riverside, Calif., faced Tony Schumacher, who qualified No. 4, in the opening round. In the one time the pair has raced in 2003, Cory Mac came away with the victory.

McClenathan gained a small advantage at the starting light, but Schumacher quickly overcame the advantage and won by about four hundredth of a second.

Reflecting on the run, Cory Mac had the following to say, "We were behind the eight ball all weekend because we underestimated this race track. We tried to go back to our regular tune up and attack this track just like we would any racetrack. It did pay off. While I'm sitting here crying the blues, I can't complain. The team did a good job getting us ready for today. After qualifying with a 4.88 (seconds), we ran a 4.73 (seconds) today. We try to step it up at Indy and try to keep going. Indy's the biggest race of the year. I guarantee we'll be ready for that one."

With today's set back, McClenathan dropped one position to fifth in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. Cory Mac has 809 points for the season. Schumacher moved to fourth.

Coming up for Darrell Gwynn Racing and the NY Yankees/Berryman Products dragster is the "granddaddy" of national events, the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. Sportsman racing begins on Wednesday, August 27, with the first session of professional qualifying scheduled for Friday evening, August 29. Qualifying concludes on Sunday, August 31, with final eliminations on Monday, Labor Day.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan , Darrell Gwynn , Cory Mac