MCCLENATHAN NAILS DOWN NO. 4 IN HOUSTON QUALIFYING, SETS TOP SPEED BAYTOWN, Texas (March 29, 2008) -- Cory McClenathan qualified the FRAM Top Fuel dragster in No. 4 today for the NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, the fourth round of...
MCCLENATHAN NAILS DOWN NO. 4 IN HOUSTON QUALIFYING, SETS TOP SPEED
BAYTOWN, Texas (March 29, 2008) -- Cory McClenathan qualified the FRAM Top Fuel dragster in No. 4 today for the NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, the fourth round of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, after four full qualifying runs were completed for the first time since the season opener in Pomona, Calif., due to rain.
McClenathan began the weekend with a strong run right out of the box, posting a 4.612-second elapsed time at 316.45 mph to grab No. 2 in Friday's first qualifying run. He improved during Friday's evening session, roaring to a 4.568/326.79 lap, recording the top speed for the event so far, yet fell two spots to No. 4. He struggled on both qualifying runs on Saturday (9.975/79.18 and 4.701/261.02), but held on to No. 4 going into Sunday's eliminations.
"Obviously, it was nice to get four runs in during qualifying," said McClenathan. "There was a threat of rain, but it never came and it worked out really well for us. Crew chief Mike Green needs data and more runs mean more data for us. I think the FRAM crew has done a great job this weekend. We were in the No. 2 spot and we got bumped to No. 4 during the Friday night session. Then the weather changed dramatically today. It got hot and it got a little slick out there and we had to change things around for the conditions.
"The first run this morning was way too aggressive. We adjusted for the conditions on the second run, but there's a bump down there and it pushed me right over to the center line. We'd already found out all the information we needed so I just shut it off."
Crew chief Green was hospitalized early today with what was diagnosed as diverticulitis, but he returned in time for the first qualifying session of the day and continued to work despite his pain. "This is my job," said Green, who drove himself to the hospital at 4 a.m. "It hurts, but it would hurt if I was sitting in the hotel room. I figured I should just come back here and try to help as much as I can. We made some changes when I got back from the hospital and I'll go back after this run and try to do things normally and the best I can."
"Mike just needs to go back to the hotel and get some rest and be ready for tomorrow," said McClenathan following qualifying. "The race car comes first up until somebody is not feeling well. So, with the crew chief going to the hospital this morning I think we still parlayed this into a winning deal today. I think we have something that will work for tomorrow and we'll take it round by round. But, all in all, I think it's been a good weekend for the FRAM Top Fuel car."
McClenathan will face Rod Fuller during the first round of eliminations on Sunday.