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US RACING STAR CORY MAC IS BACK FOR EASTER CHALLENGE

Article Date: 16 March 2016

American drag racing star Cory McClenathan will be looking to make it three Aussie victories in a row this Easter, when he takes on the Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race Event, presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes (25 and 26 March).

The last time that ‘Cory Mac’ raced at Willowbank Raceway, he took victory at the largest championship drag racing event held outside of his native United States – the Winternationals. Five months later, he would return and take victory at Sydney Dragway’s Nationals, the first event of the new 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series.

Now, the drag racing veteran of more than 20 years’ experience will return to Queensland’s premier drag racing facility as part of Santo Rapisarda’s three-car Top Fuel team and fight for the prestigious Louie Rapisarda Trophy – a title that honours the late son of event sponsor and team owner Santo Rapisarda, who passed away in a Top Fuel accident in 1990.

“I really love racing in Australia for a few reasons, everyone treats me so well when I come over there, and it is quarter-mile racing which is close to my heart,” said the California-based racer, who boasts more than 500 round victories and more than 34 event victories – including two US Nationals - at home in the NHRA.

“To win the Winternationals was awesome, as was to win at the Nationals – I think having won those does help my confidence in heading to Easter. I guess my biggest thing is that I know for (team-mates) Damien Harris and Wayne Newby it is a points game in chasing the championship, where I just come in and mess the whole point system up,” laughed McClenathan.

“I enjoy the competition from all the racers, I really do. I love to come out and race all of them, but they all know that I am not there just to show up and run the car, I am there to win.

“We will be coming down and qualifying as best we can, and then it will come down to trying to win the race and make it three Aussie event wins in a row, and chase the Louie Rapisarda Trophy.”

That trophy is currently in the possession of the Rapisarda outfit, after their driver Allan Dobson secured it during the 2014 running of the event (2015 was rained-out).

“That is very important to me (keeping the trophy in the team), because I know the story behind Louie and I have from the first day that I drove for Santo,” said McClenathan.

“The best thing I can do for the whole gang there is to win that trophy for Louie – you know sometimes in tragedy it can stop you in your tracks and I get that, but they have always been racers and they still are and I love that about the whole team. I just want to keep that going for them and if I can be the one that is able to bring it home for them, that is what I want to do.”

As part of his Easter campaign, McClenathan will bring credentialed US Top Fuel tuner and Rapisarda team regular Lee Beard with him to Australia.

“I love driving for Santo and (his sons) Santo Jnr and Santino and the whole gang there too, and it is the icing on the cake when I can come out and race with Lee Beard – he knows what to expect from me and I know what to expect from him,” said McClenathan, who will be supported by long-time personal sponsor Nordic Boats as well as team sponsors Santo’s Cranes, Atlantic Oil, Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes on his latest Aussie adventure.

“The boys have been running really well lately so that is something for Lee and I to look at, they have a really good race car and have done well for themselves lately. We are going to be shooting for those low ‘4.50s’ at 329 miles per hour, and you know I would love to even be the first guy into the ‘4.40s’ as well – but I think everyone wants to do that!” he laughed.

“I just try and do my best job I can for Santo and the boys, I am easy going and we have a lot of fun together. The boys have done such a good job over the years and I have worked with Lee so much that I think that is why we keep doing it this way – it just makes it easy and you have people working in places that you can count on.”

The Santo’s Super 3 Extreme Drag Race Event, presented by Uplift Cranes and Titan Cranes, is a two-day Easter spectacular and the latest event in the 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series.

Across Good Friday and Easter Saturday, McClenathan and his fellow Top Fuel racers will be joined by competitors in the BlackAdda Top Bike, Titan Cranes Pro Alcohol and Just Traffic Solutions Pro Stock categories in chasing 400 Thunder championship points, while Pro Radial, Factory Xtreme, Pro Outlaw and DYO racers will also take to the track.

The main show kicks off from 5.00pm each day, and spectator tickets are available online now at willowbankraceway.com.au - starting at just $35.00 for adults and $30.00 for students/concession card holders with ID for one-day tickets, while children aged 13 and under gain free admission. A special two-day admission pass is also on offer, at just $60.00 for adults and $50.00 for students and concession card holders. For further event information, please click here.

The Santo's Super 3 event forms just part of the non-stop racing action that happens year round at Willowbank Raceway. With everything from Test 'n' Tunes where you can race your own car or bike, to the largest championship drag racing event held outside of North America - the Winternationals - there is something for everyone in the action-packed 2016 calendar. For more information about the venue - located 45 minutes from Brisbane or just a short drive from Ipswich - please visit willowbankraceway.com.au

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