Brainerd: Cory McClenathan preview

McClenathan Back in Older FRAM Boost Top Fuel Chassis for Brainerd Cory McClenathan will be driving a different FRAM Boost Top Fuel dragster when qualifying begins Friday for the 25th annual Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International ...

McClenathan Back in Older FRAM Boost Top Fuel Chassis for Brainerd

Cory McClenathan will be driving a different FRAM Boost Top Fuel dragster when qualifying begins Friday for the 25th annual Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.

After experimenting with a Brad Hadman chassis made from thicker, less flexible tubing for three races, crew chief Wes Cerny, assistant crew chief Tony Shortall and team owners Mark and Andy Carrier opted to return to the chassis last used in St. Louis.

"We are out of time to experiment," Shortall said. "We are going back to what we know works, the car we have the most data on. We'll be able to apply that knowledge to our tune-ups. Simply put, I guess you could say this car is easier to tune and more adaptable to the different racing conditions we'll be seeing.

"We found we had to change the motor and clutch combinations more than we wanted with the new tubing. We're down to the last eight races of the season. We need to be aggressive and push the car hard the rest of the way. We wanted to be competitive the whole year and finish in the top five. We hope to take a crack at finishing in the top five between now and November."

This chassis recently had its back half replaced, necessitated by damage sustained in an untoward accident at St. Louis.

"I watched a tape of that race and the car was really running well when a header pipe broke off," added Shortall. The pipe took out the right rear tire, sending the car across the track and into the guard wall, bending the chassis.

"We didn't do nearly as well as we wanted on the Western Swing (recently completed races at Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.) and we knew something had to be done," said McClenathan, who is 10th in points with 674. "It's tough when you start the Swing with a new, untried car. We tried our best, and I know Tony and Wes believe the stiffer chassis will work better on good tracks, but we just needed to get back to basics."

This is the first of two races in succession. The 17th of 23 series events, the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals, is on tap at Memphis, Aug. 18-20.

-credit: carrierboyzracing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan