Bristol: McClenathan hoping for victory

McClenathan Hoping To Give Bristol Sponsor First Victory BrISTOL, Tenn. - Cory McClenathan has 27 career victories in NHRA Top Fuel competition. Right now, however, he is still looking for a first. He wants to give his sponsor and local Bristol...

McClenathan Hoping To Give Bristol Sponsor First Victory

BrISTOL, Tenn. - Cory McClenathan has 27 career victories in NHRA Top Fuel competition. Right now, however, he is still looking for a first. He wants to give his sponsor and local Bristol businessmen their first win.

Before the start of the 2004 NHRA POWERade season, McClenathan and the Carrier family joined forces to form the Carrier Boyz/Berryman Products dragster.

"The Carrier brothers have never won a race and now we are going to their home track," McClenathan said. "It may bring a little added pressure to perform well in front of their friends, family and clients, but sometimes a little extra pressure is exactly what you need to run better."

McClenathan will be aiming to win four rounds of Top Fuel competition during eliminations at the fourth annual O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, April 30 - May 2. Brandon Bernstein, Del Worsham and Kurt Johnson are the defending winners in their respective categories for the $1.2 million race, the sixth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

After the first five events of the season, McClenathan is in seventh place of the Top Fuel point standings. His best appearance this season has been a semifinal finish in Phoenix. But if he can, McClenathan will put his hometown owners in winner's circle at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals.

"I'm excited to be racing with the Carrier family," McClenathan said. "They are great people and I would be thrilled if I can help them win their first race. I'm looking forward to making that happen. If we can get it done in Bristol, that would be even better."

McClenathan said the addition of Todd Smith as crew chief should help the team be more consistent. Smith and McClenathan have worked together before on the Darrell Gwynn-owned dragster.

"I think Todd is going to make a big difference on the team," McClenathan said. "He knows that we have to be consistent to be competitive and I really think we are getting closer and closer all the time. We put the team together in a short amount of time just before the season started and we know it can't all come together over night. But we are getting closer."

The team may be new, but McClenathan said his goals are going to be the same as last year. They want to win races and finish in the top half of the final point standings.

"I've learned a lot in the last couple of years about how to put a team together quickly," McClenathan said. "I think we are capable of finishing in the top five and that's our goal. I would be very happy if we could accomplish that in my first year with the Carrier family. We know that you don't have to be the quickest and fastest car on the track. We need to be consistent and I think that is a realistic goal."

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Del Worsham , Cory McClenathan , Brandon Bernstein , Darrell Gwynn , Todd Smith