NHRA: Cory McClenathan to unretire for two races next month in Indy

Photos and image courtesy Don Schumacher Racing
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The Mac Attack is back.

Veteran NHRA Top Fuel driver Cory McClenathan — also known as “Cory Mac” — will come out of retirement to drive in next month’s first two races of the resumed 2020 NHRA national event schedule.

Both races will be held at Lucas Oil Raceway in suburban Indianapolis on July 11-12 and July 18-19.

The 57-year-old McClenathan’s return to racing will be brief. He plans to retire again after competing in those two races, which he’s calling his “redemption tour.”

He explained the reason why in a media release issued Wednesday morning:

“I had made the decision to hang up my driving shoes last year, but I ran the last three events of the 2019 season, and things didn’t go as I had hoped. I was left feeling like I had some unfinished business.”

McClenathan will drive for Don Schumacher Racing, who he previously raced for earlier in his career, including earning five of his 34 career Top Fuel wins for between 2008 and 2010.

“I’ve known Don Schumacher and the Schumacher family for years and have remained close with them,” McClenathan said. “Don knew that I really wanted to go out with a bang last year, and that didn’t happen.

“So when all of this talk of re-starting the 2020 season with two consecutive Indy races came about, he told me that if I could come up with the necessary funding, I could run those two events in a DSR Top Fuel dragster.

“DSR is a top-tier team, so to be able to drive with them again is a big deal to me; the opportunity was just too good to pass up. I called upon my longtime partners and we were able to put a deal together which will allow me to race at the first two Indy events.”

McClenathan is one of the more notable drivers in Top Fuel history. He was the first driver to break the 320 mph barrier and also the first driver to cover the quarter-mile in under 4.80 seconds. He also has more than 500 career individual round victories in NHRA Top Fuel competition.

The Corona, California resident is currently ninth on the NHRA Top Fuel all-time wins list. If he wins either race in Indianapolis, he would tie “Big Daddy” Don Garlits’ mark for eighth on the list with 35 wins apiece.

McClenathan will pilot DSR driver Leah Pruett’s back-up car, and will be reunited with his former crew chief, Todd Okuhara, who will tune both McClenathan’s dragster as well as Pruett’s primary ride in the two Indy races.

Indianapolis has been a successful venue for McClenathan. He has two NHRA U.S. Nationals wins (1996 and 1999) and two runner-up finishes there.

McClenathan isn’t the only driver coming back next month. Eight-time champion and the winningest driver in Top Fuel history (84 wins), Tony Schumacher, will also race in next month’s races at Indy.

Although the pair has been longtime friends, they’re also staunch rivals on the dragstrip.

“An ideal situation would be meeting up with Tony in the final round,” McClenathan said. “I think the fans would really get a kick out of watching us battle it out.

“We raced against each other in the 1996 U.S. Nationals finals; it was Tony’s first time competing in Top Fuel. I ended up winning but I think it would be really fun and special if we could have a repeat of that.”

McClenathan is putting Schumacher and all other Top Fuel drivers on notice: “I’m just so excited to get back out there, see the fans, and hopefully add another Wally (a national event win) trophy to my collection. Yes, I’m here to have fun, but I’m also here to win.”

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Chase Sexton wins Triple Crown Anaheim 2 Supercross: Levi Kitchen unseats Jett Lawrence in 250s

Supercross Anaheim 2
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Chase Sexton won two of the three races in the Monster Energy Supercross Anaheim 2 Triple Crown, which was enough to overcome a fifth-place finish in Race 2 and give him the overall victory. It was the second Supercross win of his career.

“Super big night for me,” Sexton told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “After last weekend with that being a struggle, I just need to come out here and stop the bleeding a little bit and I did that tonight.”

Sexton suffered a crash on Lap 1 of his heat, sending him into Last Chance Qualifier. The bad gate pick put him in a difficult position to start the race and he was able to climb to only fifth at the checkers.

At Anaheim 2, three riders entered the final race of the Triple Crown in a winner-take-all scenario. Sexton, Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac each had a shot at victory. It raised the intensity level for all riders in an evening that featured a lot of comers and goers.

Jason Anderson took the early lead in Race 3, which set him up for the overall victory. Sexton stalked and passed him midway through the race and then a minor mistake late allowed Webb to slip around as well. Anderson’s 5-1-3 gave him second overall.

“I had a tough couple of rounds, getting off that Anaheim 1 crash and then last week weekend I fumbled a little bit, but I’m excited to get back on the box and start moving forward,” Anderson told Jason Thomas.

Anderson finished seventh in the first two rounds of 2023.

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Ken Roczen was the model of consistency in the opening rounds and at Anaheim 2. In three races so far this year, he’s gotten progressively better each time with a fifth in A1, a fourth last week in San Deigo and a third this week.

With results of 2-3-4, he earned his first podium of the season, which lands him fourth in the standings.

“This was hard earned,” Roczen said after the race. “I completely botched the start and then to have to work my way up. I only happen on the very last lap to step up here on the podium.”

Webb’s solid second-place finish in the third race allowed him to leapfrog several riders and finish fourth overall, but a seventh in Race 1 kept him off the podium. He improved in each race in Anaheim, however, with a 7-4-2.

With a 4-6-5, Dylan Ferrandis rounded out the top five.

The intensity of the race was a little too much for Tomac.

While battling side-by-side with Webb in Race 3 at the one-third mark, Tomac jumped wide and crashed hard. He fell to 14th, doing some damage to his bike in the process. He advanced only one position in that race to 13th. His first two races, a third and second, were strong enough to give him sixth overall. He retains the points lead, but it has shrunk to a gap of only four over Sexton and Webb.

Malcolm Stewart injured late in the week and was not able to mount.


Levi Kitchen became the first rider to unseat Jett Lawrence in the Triple Crown format at Anaheim 2 and won the overall with consistency. In his three races, Kitchen finished 4-2-2 to narrowly edge the winner of the first two races.

“This whole day; this is unbelievable. I took a few good slams in practice and I was down on myself,” Kitchen told NBC Sports Jason Thomas afterward. “The first moto I got a good start and got shuffled back, then I knew I just needed to be consistent.”

Jett Lawrence saved his best for last – which wasn’t hard given the struggles he experienced in the first two races.

Despite those problems, he entered Race 3 of the Triple Crown three points behind Kitchen after suffering a pair of disappointing races by his personal measuring stick. In the first and second 250 races of the night, Lawrence hit the ground. He dropped to the final rider in the running order in Race 2 with a Lap 1 fall. But in both races, he was able to overcome his mistake and close the gap so that he had a chance to take his first Triple Crown win of his career.

Click here for full 250 West Main Results

Lawrence rode to third in Race 1 and sixth in Race 2. In the final race of the night, Lawrence did all he could. He earned the holeshot, but when Kitchen fell in behind him, Lawrence’s fate was sealed. His 3-6-1 tied him in points with Stilez Robertson, but the tiebreaker goes to the final round and his win secured second-place.

“I can definitely say Triple Crowns are not my thing,” Lawrence told NBC Sports Will Christien. “We have one more to try and fix this, so hopefully we can get that done.”

Lawrence will move into the 450 class for the Lucas Oil Motocross outdoor season and his 250 record book will be closed.

The best news for Lawrence is the other riders who entered this round in the top three had a worse night, so Lawrence leaves Anaheim with a 16-point gap on Cameron McAdoo and 17 over RJ Hampshire.

Roberston finished 6-1-3 to take the final step of the podium.

“Getting that win in the second Main meant a lot,” Roberston told Thomas. “I wish I could have done a little better in the third one, but we’re still up here on the box.”

Mitchell Oldenburg used consistency to earn fourth in the overall. He finished 5-4-6.

After missing the Main last week in San Diego, Max Vohland finished 7-8-4 to round out the top five.

RJ Hampshire set himself up as the early favorite with his Race 1 win. In Race 2, it all fell apart. He fell in the sand section and damaged his bike, finishing last in that race. The final event of the night for the 250s provided only a 13th-place finish, leaving Hampshire deep in the points.

Cameron McAdoo hard crash in qualification, which was scary news for a team that has seen three of their riders sidelined with injury. McAdoo was never quite able to get his rhythm with an 8-7-5.

2023 Race Recaps

San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Anaheim 2 coverage

Power Rankings Week 2
SuperMotocross tightens playoff schedule
Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence go two-for-two in San Diego
Results and points after San Diego
Seth Hammaker to miss 250 E season opener with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner with injury
Injury sidelines Austin Forkner for remainder of 2023 SX