C-Mac eyes Denver three-peat Teammate Johnson excited about returning to his 'favorite track' DENVER (July 13) -- The center of the drag racing world will once again revolve around the Team Gibbs pit when the National Hot Rod ...
C-Mac eyes Denver three-peat
Teammate Johnson excited about returning to his 'favorite track'
DENVER (July 13) -- The center of the drag racing world will once again revolve around the Team Gibbs pit when the National Hot Rod Association circuit arrives at Bandimere Speedway Thursday through Sunday for the 21st Annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals.
Gumout-sponsored Top Fuel pilot Cory McClenathan has absolutely dominated Denver's famous quarter-mile over the last two seasons, posting back-to-back wins, back-to-back No. 1 qualifying performances and the track's top speed of all time in his MBNA Dragster.
His pit partner, Tommy Johnson Jr., enters this race searching for his first nitromethane-fueled Funny Car title in his Gumout-sponsored Interstate Batteries machine. But Johnson is certainly no stranger to Bandimere's Victory Circle, having taken home wins during seven separate divisional events in Denver.
In addition to his back-to-back wins over the past two years at Bandimere Speedway, McClenathan also posted a Top Alcohol Dragster victory here in 1989 just after the facility was completely remodeled.
"This track has been very, very good to us," McClenathan said. "I love it here. The race always marks the start of the second half of the season so when you do well here it kind of springboards you into the rest of the year on a positive note.
"The last two years have been nearly perfect. Both times we unveiled a brand-new car and both times it ran extremely well. This year we don't have a new car but we'll be using the same one that won here a year ago. So we feel like we really have a good grip of what this track can and cannot hold. I hope to keep this Colorado streak alive. That's the plan.
"The car showed us that it is very consistent when we were in Bristol. That's what we want -- consistency. If we can win one of the three races on the West Coast swing and at least get to the semi's of the other two events, we'll really show the rest of the field that we are a serious contender for the Winston championship. It all starts here in Denver."
Johnson, finished as the Mile-High Nationals Top Fuel runner-up in 1991 and was the Super Gas runner-up in 1984. He also recorded a pair of Div. 6 Super Gas wins as well as five Div. 6 Top Alcohol Funny Car titles at Bandimere Speedway.
"Compared to everything I've done in the past at this track, this year will be the best by far," Johnson said. "I've always been the underdog with no sponsor, working on a real limited budget. This time I'm working for the best team on the circuit and I have one of the most competitive cars in the world. I can't wait to get back on that track.
"I've only recorded runner-up finishes whenever we raced in Denver during a national event. I don't need any more runner-up finishes. I need a win and I really think this Interstate Batteries/Gumout car is primed to do it.
"Every driver has tracks where they do well. This is mine. It's my favorite track by far because the altitude seems to level the playing field out to the point where no one has a clear-cut advantage. It usually comes down to driver ability and I like that pressure."