Parachute slows McClenathan, ends day in round two
Topeka, Sunday: Having qualified third, his highest qualifying position of the 2003 season, Cory McClenathan, driver of the Darrell Gwynn Racing/NY Yankees/Berryman Products Dragster, had an inadvertent parachute deployed just before half-track that ended his day during the second round of eliminations at the 15th annual NHRA O'Reilly Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX.
After defeating Scott Palmer in the opening round, McClenathan was matched against Doug Kalitta in the quarterfinals. The pair were in a side-by-side battle when one of the two chutes on McClenathan's NY Yankees/Berryman Products Dragster unfolded and he began to slow as Kalitta raced to the finish line win light.
"It was just one of those things that today became another way to lose," said McClenathan, from Riverside, Calif. "We have one chute to use with a button that I activate in the cockpit. It was the other chute that came out. We don't know why. We had a good race going. That's not how you're suppose to lose these things. I think it could have been a real close race at the finish line. We'll fix the problem and go on to Chicago."
McClenathan remained in sixth place in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings, six points out of fifth.
Third on the qualifying grid for McClenathan at Topeka
Topeka, Saturday: Running well, but never unleashing the full potential of his Darrell Gwynn Racing's New York Yankees/Berryman Products Top Fuel Dragster until Saturday, Cory McClenathan qualified third for the 15th annual O'Reilly Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX.
McClenathan's best of four passes down the Heartland Park Topeka quarter-mile was a pass of 4.577 seconds at 315.56 mph in Saturday's first session.
"With the exception of the run on Friday night, the NY Yankees/Berryman Products dragster ran consistent. We have a good base and should be ready when eliminations begin tomorrow. This week we will not throw away our chances of winning the title here. The driver plans to do his best driving on Sunday," said McClenathan, from Riverside, Calif., referring to his red-light start of one week ago in eliminations.
In the opening round on Sunday, McClenathan will face Scott Palmer, who qualified 14th with an elapsed time of 4.883 seconds.
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