BRISTOL, TN (March 26) – Cory McClenathan and J.R. Todd’s double-barreled salute during the pre-race ceremony at the NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday was a huge hit with the 160,000 fans who packed the grandstands. McClenathan and Todd simultaneously fired their 7,000-horsepower dragsters to promote the upcoming O’Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Q.

With a nationwide audience looking on and a bevy of national media members recording the event, the two Top Fuel stars asked everyone to first take part in a moment of silence to honor the late Eric Medlen. Then they climbed into their respective dragsters — McClenathan in his special-edition rail and Todd in his Skull Shine dragster — and conducted a spectacular warm-up routine complete with several back-and-forth throttle hits that reverberated around the colossal stadium.

When they were finished, the crowd went wild, including most of the NASCAR crewmembers and drivers who came out of the pits to watch.

“We definitely brought drag racing to the masses today,” said Jegs Media Manager Scott Woodruff. “Kenny Wallace is a Team Jegs member, and he was right there with the Speed TV crew filing the whole thing live. Kenny’s going to warm up Cory’s car during Bristol qualifying, so he was pumped. We all got a good laugh out of it because every time Cory whacked the throttle, Kenny jumped.

“The main thing is we let 160,000 people there and millions more at home see a little slice of our sport. Hopefully that encourages people that might not usually come to one of our events to give it a try the next time we’re in their area. That’s the goal: to bring more people to our sport.

“The Carrier brothers and everyone with NASCAR were wonderful to us, and we had a great time watching the race. Our thanks to everyone involved.”

The seventh annual O’Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals is set for May 18-20 at Bristol Dragway, adjacent to Bristol Motor Speedway.


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