Gainesville: Cory McClenathan Saturday summary

McClenathan qualifies in 7th at the Mac Tools Gatornationals. GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2003) -- Qualifying for the third of 23 events on the 2003 $50 million NHRA POWERade® Drag Racing Series is complete. Cory McClenathan, driver of the ...

McClenathan qualifies in 7th at the Mac Tools Gatornationals.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 15, 2003) -- Qualifying for the third of 23 events on the 2003 $50 million NHRA POWERade® Drag Racing Series is complete. Cory McClenathan, driver of the Darrell Gwynn Racing NY Yankees/Berryman Products Top Fuel Dragster, qualified seventh for this weekend's 34th annual NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

In today's first session of qualifying, the third overall, McClenathan recorded a pass of 4.597 seconds at 320.05 mph. He will face Darrell Russell, who qualified 10th with a run of 4.651 seconds at 316.67 mph, in tomorrow's first round of eliminations.

McClenathan, with 27 career wins, the most of any active Top Fuel driver, reflected on qualifying: "We're always trying to be consistent with this NY Yankees/Berryman Products car. We want to go from start to finish consistently. We started off with a good run and that set the pace for the rest of the weekend. Our pass of 4.59 (seconds) today enabled us to try a few things in the final qualifying session. We tried to step it up.

"We did just that. We tried a different set of heads on the car and to half track it was fantastic. But from what I can tell it started blowing through the clutch and dropping cylinders. If you don't have that load against the clutch power wise, it will start dropping them (cylinders). That's exactly what it did.

"Conditions are right. We've got ourselves a real race car here. I think we'll be right there with the fast guys tomorrow. So now we'll work on our race set up and go after them first round."

Crew chief John Steward added his thoughts on this weekend's qualifying: "We started off just trying to go A to B and went 63 (4.63 seconds). On the second run we changed a couple little things and had a piston break on us. That sums up Friday. In today's first run we went out and went 59 (4.59 seconds), which was good, at 320 miles per hour. For this last run we put an experimental set of heads and made a few other changes. It was running good but then just shut off. Don't know what happened.

"We'll go back to the regular set up for tomorrow's eliminations and see what happens from there."

About Darrell Gwynn Racing:

Returning to Darrell Gwynn Racing in 2003 is an impressive contingent of continuing marketing partners including the New York Yankees (currently celebrating their 100th anniversary in baseball), GMC, Mac Tools, MBNA Bank N.A., and Winnebago Industries. These fine companies will be joined this year by an array of new team and driver marketing partners including Berryman Products, Centennial Batteries, Don Steves Chevrolet, Dyn-O-Mat, Fabtech Motorsports and Negley Electric.

-dgr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Darrell Gwynn