Hot, sticky track ends McClenathan’s day
Las Vegas, Sunday: The heat at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway caused an early end to Cory McClenathan’s quest for the Top Fuel title at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals.
In the opening round, McClenathan drove the Carrier Boyz Racing Fram AirHog Dragster to victory when he defeated Scott Weis. It was the third time in as many races that pair has met in the first round and the third time that McClenathan has walked away with the victory.
At the light, Cory Mac left first and led from start to finish crossing the finish line strip in 4.599 seconds, the third quickest time of the round. It is the fifth time in six career events that McClenathan has bettered Weis.
At the end of the race with Weis, McClenathan voiced his opinion regarding what he thought were starting line games meant by Weis to disrupt his concentration.
“Scott Weis and I have had to meet each other in the first round for the last three races and I feel that he is playing games on the starting line,” said McClenathan. “It started in Gainesville. I try not to let it bother me during the race and it just gets me more pumped up.
“I know their team is doing all they can to win. It’s kind of funny actually. While all this is going on I just try to remain calm. Personally, I think it they just raced their own deal, they would do better. They have a good running car and if we have to race them again, we’ll try to beat them again just like anybody else we race.”
In the second round, matched against David Grubnic, Cory Mac got a very small starting advantage. He continued to lead at the 330-foot mark but hazed the tires as he neared half-track. From then on Grubnic held the advantage taking the win light and ending the day for McClenathan.
“Our downfall was the 130-degree race track and the fact that we apparently weren’t as ready for the track conditions as Grubnic’s team. We were trying to repeat our 59 (4.599 second) run from the opening round. We changed blowers for that run and it responded. That in turn made the motor run a little bit better and that was all it took to push it over the edge and break the tires loose,” said crew chief Todd Smith, as he reviewed the computer results of the run.
McClenathan added, “All in all I think we had a pretty good weekend. I’m really proud of all the team. Now we’ll go on to Bristol. Maybe we can make that our first win of the season. It would be an added bonus to put this Fram AirHog race car in the winner’s circle in the hometown of Carrier Boyz Racing.”
McClenathan leaves Las Vegas No. 5 in the POWERade Top Fuel point standings with 311 points.
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