Cory McClenathan will be released from Don Schumacher Racing, following the conclusion of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, team owner Don Schumacher has announced.
McClenathan, who has been racing the FRAM Top Fuel dragster for DSR since 2008 and has been sponsored by Honeywell brands FRAM, Prestone and Autolite since 2006, is in the midst of a tight Top Fuel championship battle that includes him, Larry Dixon and Tony Schumacher. The championship will be determined at the season finale in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 11-14.
"This was a tough decision to make," said Schumacher. "Cory has done such an outstanding job for DSR and Honeywell and he has been an important member of the DSR family. He is a remarkable racecar driver, and clearly a champion in the making.
"I have invited Cory to stay on with the team until he finds another ride. I have also asked him to be available if we were in need of a test driver or if we were to introduce another team in the future."
"I am not retiring," said McClenathan, 47. "I have had a wonderful relationship with Don Schumacher, both personal and professional. I am grateful to him and to Honeywell for all they have done for me.
"Right now I have to focus on trying to win the 2010 championship, which I want to do for DSR, for Fram, Prestone and Autolite and, of course, for myself. After this season is over, I will pursue other opportunities to continue racing in the NHRA Full Throttle Series."
Since McClenathan joined DSR in 2008, he has won five national events in 15 final rounds to date, and was No. 1 qualifier eight times. He set the quickest elapsed time in NHRA history (racing to 1000 feet) of 3.752 seconds in 2010. In his 20-year career, he has won 34 national events in 65 final rounds to date and qualified No. 1 38 times. He was the championship runner-up four times.
DSR said that a replacement driver will be named following the conclusion of the season. Spencer Massey, a race winner with Don Prudhomme's Top Fuel team last year who was left out of a ride when that team folded at the end of 2009, has been tipped as a frontrunner for the DSR seat.