Phoenix: Cory McClenathan Saturday summary

McClenathan places No. 8 as qualifying ends at Firebird in Phoenix Chandler, Ariz. (March 6, 2004) - Cory McClenathan placed the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster in the top half of the field at No. 8, as qualifying ended...

McClenathan places No. 8 as qualifying ends at Firebird in Phoenix

Chandler, Ariz. (March 6, 2004) - Cory McClenathan placed the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster in the top half of the field at No. 8, as qualifying ended today at Firebird International Raceway for the NHRA Checkers Schuck's Kragen Nationals.

With McClenathan's dragster sporting a wheelie bar (a device that helps prevent the car from turning over backwards) for the first time in his career, it was dàjà vu for the veteran driver.

At the recently completed Winternationals, the Carrier Boyz Racing dragster was overly aggressive, lifting the front end of the car, perilously close to a blowover. The wheelie bar was installed prior to this race to ensure added protection should the problem continue.

McClenathan got to test the newly installed device on his very first qualifying pass of the weekend. The wheelie bar did its job. The result was only slight damage to the front end of the car, which crew chief Jimmy Walsh and his crew repaired between qualifying sessions.

In Friday's second run, Cory Mac had an uneventful ride, carving out a pass of 4.602 seconds at 317.42 mph good for eighth spot on the qualifying ladder after the first day of qualifying.

On Saturday, with the temperatures on the increase, it became a tuner's race. In the first qualifying session, the advantage went to the track, with the majority of the fuel teams missing the tune up and losing traction. McClenathan's Goodyears broke loose as he approached half-track and he coasted to an elapsed time of 11.643 seconds, then followed with a 4.621 second pass in Saturday's final qualifying session.

"We've been trying to make a full pass with this car and haven't been able to do so," said McClenathan following qualifying. "Thanks to (crew chief) Jimmy Walsh and the crew for working hard to make me feel comfortable in the car. Now it's up to me to return the favor and do a good job for them.

"That 325 mile per hour run in the last session showed we have some power. Jimmy just tuned for track conditions today. Come tomorrow, I think we'll be a lot better off than a lot of the teams. Maybe not as good as (Tony) Schumacher and (David) Grubnic, but good nevertheless. This team is coming around."

Watch qualifying highlights for the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster on TV on ESPN2. The two-hour show begins at 11 p.m. (ET) tonight. Final eliminations for the Checkers Schuck's Kragen Nationals start tomorrow at 11 a.m. (local time), with three (3) hours of same-day TV coverage at 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2.

-cbr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac