Cory McClenathan runner up in Denver. MORRISON, Colo. -- Final eliminations for the 23rd annual NHRA Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals got underway today at picturesque Bandimere Speedway, just outside Denver, in the mountains of the foothills to...
Cory McClenathan runner up in Denver.
MORRISON, Colo. -- Final eliminations for the 23rd annual NHRA Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals got underway today at picturesque Bandimere Speedway, just outside Denver, in the mountains of the foothills to the mighty Rocky Mountains.
In the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations, Cory McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif., driver of the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports Dragster, earned his 300th career round win when he defeated John Smith, from Williamston, S.C. McClenathan's elapsed time (E.T.) of 4.856 seconds was low E.T. of the first round.
Continuing to run in the 4.80's, McClenathan dispatched Doug Herbert, from Cherryville, N.C., in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, against the red beer car (Budweiser King) of Kenny Bernstein, McClenathan was not to be denied. Although Kenny smoked the big Goodyear tires and pitched a blower belt, Cory Mac's 4.930 second elapsed time in the heat of the day would have been hard to beat. This is McClenathan's second win in five meetings with Bernstein this year.
The finals found McClenathan matched against Joe Amato's driver Darrell Russell. The pair have split their only two previous meetings, both this year. Russell was away first at the green light. It was an old fashion drag race with both cars running 4.80's -- a 4.877 for McClenathan, a 4.893 for Russell. But for McClenathan there wasn't enough race track to overcome the advantage that Russell gained at the start. Russell took the win light by four hundredth of a second.
By advancing to the finals, coupled with a first round loss by Tony Schumacher, from Long Grove, Ill., McClenathan moved back into third in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. Unofficially, Larry Dixon remains number one, followed by Bernstein in second. As noted, McClenathan moved back into third with Schumacher dropping to fourth. Russell rounds out the top five.
Henkelman & Baca Motorsports is based in California and owned by Rick Henkelman, from San Jose, Calif., and David Baca, from Brentwood, Calif.
The team transporters, drivers and crews of the traveling carnival known as the NHRA POWERade® Drag Racing Series now make the long trek to Kent Wash., near Seattle, for the second of three consecutive weekends of competition. Professional qualifying for the 15th annual NHRA Lucas Oil Products Northwest Nationals begins on Friday (July 26) at the newly renamed Pacific Raceways. Qualifying concludes on Saturday, with final eliminations starting Sunday morning.