Brainerd: Cory McClenathan Saturday summary

Cory Mac third in Top Fuel at Brainerd BRAINERD, Minn. (August 14, 2004) -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing Top Fuel dragster, ended qualifying for the NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway (BIR)...

Cory Mac third in Top Fuel at Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn. (August 14, 2004) -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing Top Fuel dragster, ended qualifying for the NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway (BIR) No. 3 on the qualifying ladder.

On his first pass on Friday, McClenathan established a base with a run of 4.701 seconds, good for the number 6 spot, at the time.

In the late afternoon, during the second session, the veteran driver served notice that his dragster was a car to be reckoned with on race day. His pass of 4.575 seconds at 299.80 down the BIR quarter-mile put the Carrier Boyz Racing team in the No. 3 spot at the end of the first day of qualifying.

"I had a vibration on the top end of the track and thought it was best to click it off at that point. It turned out that we still had a good elapsed time, so it all worked to our benefit," explained McClenathan.

McClenathan was unable to improve in the first qualifying session on Saturday, running a tire-smoking elapsed time of 5.810 seconds, but remained in the third position with one qualifying session remaining.

That final session turned out to be a repeat of the earlier session with Cory Mac losing traction and coasting to the finish line in 6.354 seconds.

With nobody running better today than McClenathan's 4.575 second pass of yesterday, Cory Mac ended qualifying in the No. 3 position and will face the No. 15 qualifier Gary Cooper. This is the first time that Cooper has attempted to qualify for an NHRA Top Fuel event.

"We are disappointed that we didn't get the Berryman Products dragster down the track today," said McClenathan. "We tried to see what the track would hold in that first qualifying session, then didn't get it backed down enough for the second session. We would have liked to had a good run today but feel confident that we can go a few rounds tomorrow. It was a good rebound after Sonoma."

The opening round between McClenathan and Cooper will have a definite Wichita, Kan., flavor. McClenathan, who now calls Anaheim, Calif., home, was born in Wichita and Cooper lists Wichita as his hometown.

McClenathan, who is looking for career win number 29 in Top Fuel, enters tomorrow's elimination seventh in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. He currently has 800 points. That places him 60 points behind sixth, 73 out of fifth and 108 points behind fourth.

There are 118 qualifying and eliminations points up for grabs at this weekend's Lucas Oil Nationals plus an additional bonus of 20 points if you set an NHRA elapsed-time national record.

Final eliminations for all classes get underway on tomorrow at 11 a.m. Time is subject to change and reflects Central Daylight Time (CDT).

Also tomorrow, ESPN2 will air same-day television coverage of eliminations from 7 until 10 p.m. on Sunday. Television time is Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and subject to change at anytime. Check local listings.

-cbr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac