MCCLENATHAN EARNS CAREER 500TH ROUND WIN EN ROUTE TO RUNNER-UP FINISH IN BRAINERD BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 15, 2010) - When 20-year series veteran Cory McClenathan defeated his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in the second round of...
MCCLENATHAN EARNS CAREER 500TH ROUND WIN EN ROUTE TO RUNNER-UP FINISH IN BRAINERD
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 15, 2010) - When 20-year series veteran Cory McClenathan defeated his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in the second round of today's 29th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, he earned his 500th career Top Fuel round win. Racing the FRAM Top Fuel dragster, he then advanced to his sixth final round of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and the 63rd of his career. However, he fell just 13 feet short of winning his fourth title of the year.
En route to the final, he dismissed Chris Karamesines with a 3.847-second elapsed time at 302.28 mph, then, without lane choice, defeated Schumacher with a 3.833/310.84, and moved past him into second place in the point standings. In the semifinals he continued his consistent path by beating David Grubnic with another solid 3.802/314.53.
Despite not having lane choice for only the second time today in the final round against points leader Larry Dixon, No. 3 qualifier "Cory Mac" was ready for the challenge. The pair launched with nearly identical reaction times, but Dixon's track-record-setting 3.786/312.28 was tough to beat, as McClenathan trailed with another consistent yet losing 3.810/314.17 pass.
"You know what? Coming in here knowing we had a chance to go 500 rounds, that was pretty cool, but it wasn't what I was thinking about, obviously," said McClenathan. "The FRAM car ran well during qualifying, and I had a great race car today. We knew we had to go around Tony to be able to get in second place. We knew we were going to have to take it away from him and go on to try to win the semis. We completed that and I got my 500th round win.
"The day was going great until the finals. The Al-Anabi car has just been really tough to beat this year. I don't think they've lost in a final yet (they haven't) and they're just really good. We had a good race car going in; we just came up a little bit short. At the same time, we're getting ready to go into the Countdown. I think we have a pretty good race car right now."
The six-race Countdown to 1 playoffs begin at the next event, the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend.