McClenathan foiled in quest for points. LAS VEGAS -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Henkelman & Baca Berryman B-12 Chemtooler Top Fuel Dragster, was turned back by Rhonda Hartman-Smith at the NHRA AC-Delco Las Vegas Nationals. McClenathan,...
McClenathan foiled in quest for points.
LAS VEGAS -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Henkelman & Baca Berryman B-12 Chemtooler Top Fuel Dragster, was turned back by Rhonda Hartman-Smith at the NHRA AC-Delco Las Vegas Nationals.
McClenathan, who qualified seventh, met Hartman-Smith in the opening round. Hartman-Smith had qualified 10th with a pass of 4.652 seconds at 314.02 mph.
Hartman-Smith was out first at the green light taking a .032 second advantage over Cory Mac. Glued close together all the way down the track, Hartman-Smith held off a hard charging McClenathan. The margin of victory was 19 thousandth of a second (.019 second). McClenathan ran The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 4.633 seconds to 4.646 seconds for Hartman-Smith.
No place did the loss hit McClenathan harder than in the POWERade point chase. Locked in a five-way battle for third through seventh in the point race with Doug Kalitta (3rd), Tony Schumacher (4th), Darrell Russell (6th) and Doug Herbert (7th), McClenathan, in fifth entering this event, stayed in fifth but the point difference between him and third and fourth increased. Additionally, the point lead over sixth and seventh decreased.
"I'm disappointed with the loss. The crew had the Berryman B-12 Chemtooler ready for that run and the driver had a mental lapse. We've run very consistent this weekend and the performance was there to win that round. Unfortunately, it was a costly loss especially in the points deal, but this team will rebound at the Finals," said McClenathan.
Larry Dixon, driver of the Don "The Snake" Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster, clinched the 2002 NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point championship and also won the event title. Dixon now has 1914 points. Rounding out the top ten after this event: 2.) Kenny Bernstein (1724 points); 3.) Tony Schumacher (1397); 4.) Doug Kalitta (1369); 5.) Cory McClenathan (1310); 6.) Darrell Russell (1305); 7.) Doug Herbert (1260); 8.) Andrew Cowin (1062); 9.) Rhonda Hartman-Smith (943); and 10.) John Smith (815).
Next event for McClenathan and the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports team will be the 38th annual NHRA AAA Auto Club of Southern California Finals which will unfold November 7-10 at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif.