Brian McClanahan Completes his Families Championship Trio
The biggest sportsman point total of the season was in Stock Eliminator, by not only 1 but 3 different drivers had the rest of the categories covered and would have won championships. Jeff Taylor put up a stout 654 but was only good enough for 3rd place, putting up a whopping 689 was Justin Lamb and would have captured his 6th World Title but Brian McClanahan came out on top by just 1 single point with 690. McClanahan now joins his dad Jerry, who won Stock in ’73, ’74, and ’78 and his son Ryan, who won Super Stock in ’10 for 3 generations of NHRA Lucas Oil World Champions. His resume had 5 final rounds where he grabbed the wally in 3 of them, including a win at the AAA NHRA Texas Fall Nationals outside Dallas to catapult him into the lead with just 3 events to go in the season.
McClanahan came out swingin at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, AZ and grabbed an early win at the division event to go along with a runner up finish the week before at the national, starting the year with 189 points. Following a few short weeks off was viva Las Vegas for another stint of back to back races where McClanahan did not fair so well, exiting each after rd3 and rd2. With the exception of a divisional event in Fontana, CA in the month of May, where he just so happen to land himself in the money round but fall 1 win light short and settle for 94 points, we wouldn’t see his beautiful ’69 Camaro out again until the western swing in Sonoma, CA towards the end of July.
Electing to sit out the 1st race of the swing (Denver, CO), McClanahan went for the home field advantage and pulled through the gate at Sonoma Raceway for another 2-for-1 divisional followed by the national. Coming off the runner up in Fontana, he bounced right back and knocked it down in his 4th final of the year giving him another 105 for a 519 total after an eventual throw away rd2 loss at the national event. Now more than half way through the season and with other contenders still racking up valuable points, it was time for a big push from McClanahan in order to make up some races. So it was off to the Salt Lake City, UT double where he would swap feet to a pair of semi final finishes for a pair of 73’s.
After only having to travel to 5 different race tracks (because of all the doubles the left coast has to offer), it was time to try and fulfill his claimers and take the tie downs off at the Woodburn divisional, only to result in a throw away 62. With only 4 races left the decision was made to travel to the Dallas national, bettering a 40 from earlier in the year. Knowing that a win was needed to put him into 1st place, McClanahan, who clearly has ice in his veins, staged for the final round and turned on the power to keep his 1st World Championship hopes alive. Following the Dallas win he would attend the remaining 3 races trying to still better his score at each of them, unfortunately he would not get passed 3rd round at each race. But the rd1 red light by Lamb at the Vegas division was all that mattered in the final stretch considering he was the only one who could catch McClanahan, crowning him the champ before the season was truly over!
Photos By – Auto Imagery