Joliet II: Cory McClenathan eliminations summary

McClenathan exits in round two, holds onto fifth in points JOLIET, Ill. (September 28, 2003) - Following the running of a career best elapsed time and speed during qualifying, Cory McClenathan, from Riverside, Calif., turned his full attention...

McClenathan exits in round two, holds onto fifth in points

JOLIET, Ill. (September 28, 2003) - Following the running of a career best elapsed time and speed during qualifying, Cory McClenathan, from Riverside, Calif., turned his full attention today to pursuit of the Top Fuel title at the Carquest Auto Parts Nationals.

During qualifying, McClenathan ran a pass of 4.463 seconds at 332.10, the second quickest elapsed time (E.T.) in NHRA history.

His pursuit of the Top Fuel title started against Luigi Novelli in the opening round. The pair started almost together at the green but Novelli ran into trouble - losing traction - and McClenathan took the win light and moved to the quarterfinals against a Top Fuel icon, Shirley Muldowney.

With Muldowney dropping cylinders and Cory Mac smoking the tires it was simply a matter of who would get to the finish line first. After the smoked cleared it was Muldowney, who will retire at season-end, moving to the semifinal round.

"We started off the weekend in a big fashion," said McClenathan. "We ran our best ever last night. The air was great yesterday and when we came back today it was about the same this morning. First round we wanted to run about a 55 (4.55 seconds) and we did exactly that. Came back and put a fresh motor in it. We went back out but the new motor seemed too aggressive, especially at 60-foot. We don't know why but we will find out.

"It was really cool to race Shirley. You know I've been racing professionally since 1991 and this is the first time I've been in the lane opposite her, either in qualifying or eliminations. The only thing was when this did happen in my scenario I won. Today, Shirley had other ideas. She beat up on us. A win is a win and they did a better job than we did today. Congratulation to her.

"Finally, let me say we dedicated today's race to (crew chief) John Stewart's dad. He is gravely ill and this whole team wanted to win one for him. Our whole NY Yankee/Berryman Products family joins all our sponsors and friends and are hoping for a full recovery for him. Our prayer and thoughts are with Stewie, his dad and family."

McClenathan maintained his hold on the fifth position in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. Cory Mac now has 944 points, 186 behind Darrell Russell in fourth and 29 points ahead of David Baca in sixth.

McClenathan and the Darrell Gwynn Racing/NY Yankees/Berryman Products team now move back to Maple Grove Raceway Park, just outside Reading, Penn., for the 19th annual NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals, which was postponed because of rain from the weekend of September 11-14 to next weekend October 4-5. Saturday, October 4, is set aside for qualifying, while eliminations will be held Sunday, October 5.

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Series NHRA
Drivers David Baca , Cory McClenathan , Darrell Gwynn , Luigi Novelli , Cory Mac