Cory McClenathan wins Top Fuel at Atlanta COMMERCE, Ga. (May 16, 2004) -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster, won today's NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac...
Cory McClenathan wins Top Fuel at Atlanta
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 16, 2004) -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster, won today's NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac by defeating Clay Millican in the final round.
It was the first final round for McClenathan since the Houston race in the spring of last year and today's win was the first for the veteran driver since the NHRA Automobile Club of Southern California Finals in November of 2002. This was his third win at Atlanta Dragway. He also won in 1995 and 1998.
"It's been a long time since I won a race, but it's awesome," said McClenathan, who began racing professionally in 1991 and now has 28 Top Fuel wins. "We weren't the quickest or the fastest car out there today, but we were consistent and that wins races. Todd Smith (crew chief) and the guys got it done when it counted.
En route to the final round McClenathan defeated Scott Weis, Brandon Bernstein and Scott Kalitta.
"Scott Weis gave us some help in the opening round when he red-lighted. Then in the second round I got what you might call revenge against Brandon Bernstein. I hadn't beaten him since his debut race at the Winternationals. And to win against my nemesis Scott Kalitta, that was like old times,' said McClenathan.
Against Millican, McClenathan covered the Atlanta Dragway quarter-mile in 4.651 seconds, while Millican trailed in 4.700 seconds. That equates to Cory Mac winning by approximately two-thirds of a car length or about 17 feet.
After the win, McClenathan said, "This was one of those special wins. For my longtime sponsor Berryman Products it was sweet because Clay (Millican) carries the sponsorship of one of Berryman's competitors on the side of his dragster. I appreciate them sticking with me. For the Carrier Boyz Racing and Mark and Andy (Carrier), I was more than glad to give them their first win. Hopefully, this is the start of many wins to come.
"In addition to Berryman Products, I want to thank American Racing, Champion Spark Plugs, Don Steves Chevrolet (La Habra, Calif.), Fabtech Motorsports, FRAM, Mac Tools, Negley Electric, Prestone and PurePower Oil. Without them none of this would be possible."
For Carrier Boyz Racing, Andy Carrier had this to say on behalf of both him and his brother Mark, "It's an amazing story to know that when you set your mind to something that you can actually go out and do it. Two years ago Mark and I decided to go Top Fuel racing. Little did we know at that time that we could or would win this soon. The guys that we have now, led by Todd Smith, are unbelievable and I can't say enough about the driving ability and leadership of Cory Mac. We're just getting started."
Crew chief Todd Smith added his feelings, "It's really great. That's what a crew chief thrives on -- winning. I'm happy for Andy and Mark Carrier and for Cory. They make this happen. But all of this couldn't happen without all the sponsors that support us week in and week out. But it definitely couldn't happen without the crew that we've assembled. They are the ones that made this happen today. I hope and feel that there are more winner's circles in our future."
Today's win moved McClenathan into the No. 4 position in the POWERade Top Fuel point standings with 413 points, just 56 points behind third. Tony Schumacher leads all Top Fuel drivers with 613 points.
Next race for Cory Mac and Carrier Boyz Racing is the seventh annual NHRA Route 66 Nationals, the second of back-to-back-to-back races and the second of six races in a seven week span on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. The event will take place at Route 66 Raceway, a state-of-the-art motorsport facility in Joliet, Ill., about 30 miles from downtown Chicago.