LOOKING BACK: McClenathan Snaps Drought

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Cory McClenathan, shown here in 2010, snapped a 38-race winless drought with a win at the the NHRA Carolinas Nationals in 2009. (HHP/Harold Hinson Photo)
Cory McClenathan, shown here in 2010, snapped a 38-race winless drought with a win at the the NHRA Carolinas Nationals in 2009. (HHP/Harold Hinson Photo)

SPEED SPORT has been reporting on and covering motorsports happenings from all over the world for 85 years, so we thought it would be fun to take a look back in the archives to see what happened 10, 25 and 50 years ago each week.

So check out what SPEED SPORT was covering 10, 25 and 50 years ago this week in Looking Back!

Sept. 23, 2009 (10 Years Ago): Cory McClenathan snapped a 38-race winless streak in Top Fuel competition with a victory during the NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMAX Dragway. McClenathan topped rookie Shawn Langdon with a 3.857-second pass at 312.64 mph in his Don Schumacher Racing dragster. The victory in the opening round of the NHRA’s Countdown also catapulted him to the top of the Top Fuel standings for the first time since the 1998 NHRA season.

Other Happenings: The American Speed Ass’n announced plans to host a stock car race at South Africa’s Phakisa Freeway Circuit in 2010; Mark Martin padded his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point lead with a win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Ryan Briscoe lost his grasp on the IndyCar Series point lead while Scott Dixon went to victory lane at Japan’s Twin Ring Motegi; Renault admitted guilt in the race fixing debacle from the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, where Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed in order to give teammate Fernando Alonso an advantage.

Sept. 21, 1994 (25 Years Ago): A record crowd packed into Nazareth Speedway for the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix IndyCar 200, which was won in dominant fashion by Paul Tracey. It was another one-two-three finish for Team Penske, with Al Unser Jr. driving from 18th on the grid to finish second and Emerson Fittipaldi finished third. The Penske trio finished a stunning four laps ahead of the rest of the field.

Other Happenings: Jerry Hauer was named the commissioner of the Indy Racing League; NASCAR announced plans to host a NASCAR Busch Grand National event at the new Homestead Motorsports Complex in 1995; World of Outlaws titan Steve Kinser was announced as the driver of Kenny Bernstein’s Winston Cup entry for the 1995 season; Speed records fell as Scott Kalitta (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car) and Darrell Alderman (Pro Stock) earned wins at Maple Grove Raceway.

Sept. 24, 1969 (50 Years Ago): Mario Andretti raced to victory in the 300-mile USAC National Championship race at Trenton (N.J.) Int’l Speedway to lock up his third USAC title. Driving the McGee Brawner Hawk turbocharged Ford, Andretti had to battle with the likes of A.J. Foyt, Bobby Unser, Al Unser and Wally Dallenbach. Luckily for Andretti, each of them fell out of the race with mechanical problems before the checkered flag waved, leaving him to take the checkered flag and the $19,500 prize.

Other Happenings: In the aftermath of the PDA boycott at Alabama Int’l Motor Speedway, NASCAR required drivers and teams to sign a good faith pledge on new entry blanks; Ramo Stott earned his 14th winner’s sticker with an ARCA win at Dayton Speedway; Jackie Ickx banged his way past teammate Jack Brabham to win the Grand Prix of Canada at Mosport Park; Crower Cams & Equipment Co.’s Bruce Crower revealed he was putting the finishing touches on a 320-cubic-inch Chevy engine for use at Indianapolis and on the USAC National Championship trail.