Seattle: Cory McClenathan Saturday summary

Cory Mac pushes the Berryman Products/CARQUEST dragster to No. 4 at Seattle KENT, Wash. (July 24, 2004) -- Flying the banner of marketing partners Berryman Products and CARQUEST Auto Parts, Cory McClenathan qualified the Carrier Boyz Racing ...

Cory Mac pushes the Berryman Products/CARQUEST dragster to No. 4 at Seattle

KENT, Wash. (July 24, 2004) -- Flying the banner of marketing partners Berryman Products and CARQUEST Auto Parts, Cory McClenathan qualified the Carrier Boyz Racing dragster No. 4 on the Top Fuel ladder.

When qualifying began yesterday for the 17th annual NHRA CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals, there where many unknown for both drivers and crew chiefs alike.

First, the concrete and asphalt of the venerable Seattle track was resurfaced during the off-season. Add to that the fact that NHRA mandated a safety measure to slow the nitro cars by lowering the nitromethane fuel mixture percentage from 90-percent to 85-percent. Finally, add to the mixture heat and humidity.

By Friday's end the crew chiefs had found some answers and drivers were starting to throw accolades toward the Pacific Raceways quarter-mile. Todd Smith, crew chief on the Cory McClenathan-driven Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products/CARQUEST dragster, reflected on the changes after Friday's qualifying,

"It's a lot of stuff to throw at us all at once. The new track surface is a big improvement from last year. As to the rule change and heat, we just have to deal with them. The smarter guys will get there first," said Smith.

McClenathan ended Friday in the No. 4 spot on the qualifying grid when he ran a 4.702-second pass after the sun had faded and the track temperatures, which had peaked at around the 130-degree mark earlier in the day, cooled.

On Saturday, the heat and humidity returned. Of all the things that Smith had to cope with during qualifying, he indicated that the new 85-percent rule was probably the greatest obstacle. But he may have a handle on this come race day as Cory Mac drove the Berryman Products/CARQUEST dragster down the hot track in 4.754 seconds in Saturday's final qualifying session. It was the second quickest pass of the session.

McClenathan will face Mike Strasburg in tomorrow's first round. Strasburg qualified 13th with an elapsed time of 4.914 seconds at 283.25 mph. In their only previous meeting, Cory Mac came away with the win.

Entering this weekend's CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals, Cory Mac holds the No. 8 position in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. He has accumulated 692 points after 13 of 23 events on the 2004 schedule. That places him three points behind seventh place, 27 behind sixth and 60 points out of the top five.

Final eliminations for all classes get underway on Sunday at 11 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). ESPN2 will air same-day television coverage of eliminations from 8 until 11 p.m. on Sunday evening. Television times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and subject to change at anytime. Check local listings.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac , Mike Strasburg , Todd Smith