Bristol: Cory McClenathan preview

McClenathan Wearing JEGS/Prestone Yellow -- Instead of FRAM Orange -- in Return to Thunder Valley Nationals Cory McClenathan and the Scott Griffin Motorsports Top Fuel team will have a decidedly different look in their return to Bristol ...

McClenathan Wearing JEGS/Prestone Yellow  -- Instead
of FRAM Orange -- in Return to Thunder Valley  Nationals
Cory McClenathan and the Scott Griffin Motorsports Top  Fuel team will have a
decidedly different look in their return to Bristol  Dragway for the O'Reilly
Thunder Valley Nationals, Friday through  Sunday.

Color it yellow. McClenathan is wearing JEGS and Prestone yellow and black instead of his usual FRAM orange and black livery and the same goes for the dragster in this once-a-year promotion.

The  last time McClenathan and JEGS/Prestone teamed up -- at Columbus, Ohio,
last year  -- he was runner-up.  "We are excited to be able to fly JEGS colors"
said  McClenathan.  "All of us hope we can go all the way to winner's circle
this  year. The new colors worked out really well for us  then.
McClenathan, meanwhile, will settle for a more mundane  performance Sunday
than what fans recall of his horrific qualifying accident  here last year.
"We are looking forward to going back to the track  to see if we can go some
rounds on Sunday," added McClenathan, who suffered  plenty of bumps and
bruises in the finish-line crash. "After last year, we are  coming to Bristol
disguised in yellow instead of our FRAM orange and hope to do  well.

The veteran driver has 29 career victories and could use a few more to help solidify a top-eight position in NHRA POWERade standings. He needs to be among the elite eight after the first segment (17 races) of the new Countdown to the Championship this year in order to capture the title trophy that has eluded him throughout his 16-year career. The challengers are whittled to four after four more events with the remaining quartet fighting for season honors during the final two 2007 races.

McClenathan, currently 10th (487 points), trails sixth-place by 46 points in a tightly-bunched field of contenders.

"We can make it as long as we  start winning rounds," he said.  "We need to
get a hot streak  going."
This race is the mid-point of a six-race marathon that  concludes with stops
at Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.  The final two  of 17 Countdown races
take place at Brainerd, Minn. (Aug. 10-12) and Reading,  Pa. (Aug. 17-19).

This is second trip to Bristol this year for McClenathan and the bright yellow JEGS/Prestone dragster. He started the car at Bristol Motor Speedway -- across the parking lot from the Dragway -- prior to the running of the NASCAR race.

"The fans got a preview  look at the car's colors then and were excited to
see it," McClenathan said. "We  just wanted to show them what the POWERade
Series is all about -- 8,000  horsepower in the engine.

-credit: sgr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan