ENNIS, Texas (October 12, 2003) -- After qualifying No. 6 in the final qualifying session at the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Cory McClenathan, driver of the NY Yankees/Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster, defeated John Smith in the opening...
ENNIS, Texas (October 12, 2003) -- After qualifying No. 6 in the final qualifying session at the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Cory McClenathan, driver of the NY Yankees/Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster, defeated John Smith in the opening round before falling to Kenny Bernstein in the quarterfinals.
After turning back Smith, Cory Mac and Bernstein ran a classic drag race in round two. Off almost together, the pair were glued together all the way down the Texas Motorplex quarter-mile with Bernstein reaching the finish line slightly ahead of McClenathan.
"We've been behind the eight ball all weekend," said McClenathan. "We weren't running the numbers we wanted. Heck, we weren't sure we were in the field until the last qualifying session, then in the opening round today we threw all the rods out. We're not sure why it did that. Then before the Bernstein race we had to change fuel pumps. It was a little bit bigger pump - about a gallon and a half more. As a result it started dropping cylinders on the top end of the track.
"With all the adversities, the guys did a great job. Thanks to Berryman Products for everything this year. We had over 400 people from Berryman here this weekend. We wish we could have done better for them, but it was not to be. We do thank them for their support.
"The race with Kenny (Bernstein) was a good drag race, but unfortunately for us the Budweiser King dragster came out on top. It was a good classic side-by-side race. It (the loss) was just one of those things. We go on to Vegas and start over."
McClenathan continues to hold onto the No. 5 spot In the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. He tops the 1000 count in points and now has 1032 points -- 54 ahead of No. 6.
A weary Darrell Gwynn Racing team and driver Cory Mac now get a well-deserved weekend off before moving to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 3rd annual ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals, Oct. 23-26.