Optimistic is key word for Carrier Boyz Racing at The Strip at LVMS

With a new crew chief, Todd Smith, at the helm, Carrier Boyz Racing begins anew to make the team a factor in the 2004 NHRA POWERade Top Fuel championship chase as the NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series moves to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for this weekend's NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals.

Cory McClenathan, driver of the Carrier Boyz Racing Berryman Products Top Fuel dragster remains optimistic about the team's future and their chances for the 2004 season.

"As always this weekend makes for a difficult situation.  Change is always interesting.  It's like starting all over again.  As far as our fans go, we hope to give them something to cheer about at Vegas," said McClenathan, reflecting on the recent crew chief change.

"It's a big undertaking for Todd Smith and the whole team.  There's a lot of work to be done.  Todd has not even seen this car and when he does we'll have only a couple of days to prepare for this event. Our goal this weekend is to go out and just get qualified, then improve from there.

"I feel positive about the future but it's going to take a couple of races to get into the swing of things.  Todd has my full support and having worked with him in the past I believe he is capable of getting the job done."

Smith, who just assumed the position of crew chief for the Carrier Boyz Racing Top Fuel dragster within the past few days, is contemplating plans not only for this weekend but for the near future also.

"I won't have the opportunity to see the car until Wednesday, which leaves little time to make major changes," said Smith.  "Our approach for this weekend will be to change whatever we can to make the car consistent and competitive.

"From what Cory, Mark (Carrier) and Andy (Carrier) are telling me, we've got all the right parts and pieces.  There shouldn't be any reason why we can't make all this work. I feel confident that at Vegas we can qualify and be competitive on Sunday.

"Looking down the road, it's an absolute must that we make changes that will keep us competitive with all the front runners out here.  For example, take the off-set blower.  By Houston, we'll have enough spare equipment to begin running that blower. It's an absolute must and a needed change for the car.  We must keep up with everyone else.  Plans now call for us to use Houston as a national event test session and then begin testing between events.

"But first things first.  We must make the car consistent and competitive, then we can use that base to begin catching up to the big boys in the class."

Smith's first opportunity to make the car consistent and competitive begins with qualifying for this weekend's SummitRacing.com Nationals.  Two qualifying sessions are schedule for fuel cars at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday and two more on Saturday at noon and 3 p.m.  Final eliminations take center stage at 11 a.m. on Sunday.  (All times PT -- local Las Vegas time.)

For those unable to attend the SummitRacing.com Nationals in person, tune into two hours of  qualifying highlights at 10 p.m. on Saturday (April 3) and two hours of same-day coverage of eliminations at 11 p.m. on Sunday (April 4).  (Both shows are on ESPN2 and all times are (ET).)  

Carrier Boyz Racing has headquarters in Bristol, Tenn. and is owned and operated by local Tri-Cities (Tenn.) businessmen and brothers Andy and Mark Carrier.  The pair have spent a life time associated with motorsports. Mark and Andy are the sons of IHRA founder and former Bristol drag race and circle track owner Larry Carrier.  Mark lists on his résumé a stint as a professional boxer while Andy boxed in the amateur ranks and raised show horses.  Both are licensed Super Comp drivers.

Berryman Products, who has been associated with McClenathan and NHRA drag racing for the past several years, will once again be racing with Cory Mac.  Berryman Products, along with an all-star list of marketing partners that includes American Racing, Champion Spark Plugs, Don Steves Chevrolet (La Habra, Calif.), Fabtech Motorsports, FRAM, Mac Tools, Negley Electric, Prestone and PurePower Oil, joins Carrier Boyz Racing for the 2004 season.   

BERRYMAN PRODUCTS, INC. is a privately held company based in Arlington, Texas, and manufactures and distributes the highest quality automotive-related products throughout the U.S. and internationally. With operations in Texas and Oklahoma, Berryman and its subsidiaries SHP, TSI, MAAP, LDI, and SHPOEM provide products to major auto parts chains, mass merchants, and wholesale suppliers and independent automotive repair shops, car dealers and specialty outlets. To learn more, log on to www.berrymanproducts.com or contact the company at 3800 East Randol Mill Road, Arlington, TX 76011, (800) 433-1704.