Bristol: Cory McClenathan Saturday notes

MCCLENATHAN MAINTAINS NO. 1 IN BRISTOL QUALIFYING BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 16, 2009) - Cory McClenathan nabbed his first No. 1 qualifying position of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, the 33rd of his career and his first since last July...

MCCLENATHAN MAINTAINS NO. 1 IN BRISTOL QUALIFYING

BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 16, 2009) - Cory McClenathan nabbed his first No. 1 qualifying position of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, the 33rd of his career and his first since last July in Denver today at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

After posting his quickest run Friday night in the second round of qualifying of 3.874 seconds at 312.21 mph, the driver of the FRAM Tough Guard Top Fuel dragster maintained his hold on first place through the two remaining qualifying rounds today, despite posting "test" runs of 4.913/153.14 and 5.123/136.23.

"Definitely I'll take the No. 1," said 30-time winner McClenathan, who has never won at Bristol Dragway. "But at the same time tomorrow is the most important. We need to go rounds. That's the one thing this FRAM Tough Guard dragster has been able to do this year is just go rounds. We've been to two finals. We haven't won a race with this car yet, but it has been very consistent . I think the FRAM Tough Guard guys have done a great job with that.

"Consistency is everything to me. Our car is very consistent. You have to go from A to B to beat us, and I think that's what (crew chiefs) Todd (Okuhara) and Phil (Shuler) and the guys have really done to me this year, is give me a car that no matter what race track we go to we may not be the quickest all the time but we're always right in the hunt with everybody and it does go from A to B. So, it kind of forces their hand. They really have to run good, they know they have to be ready at the starting line, and make it to the other side.

"It's nice to throw out a shot there every once in a while and we did last night. The guys said we're really going to push it so be ready to shut it off if you have to. So last night was one of those Friday nights we were able to take advantage of the situation. You won't see that all the time from this car, but you will see it go from A to B all the time.

"It puts me in a really good comfort zone. I know this car is going to work all the time. Today we tried some new things that we were actually going to test on Monday. So, now that we're at the top of the board we will go all the way back to yesterday's tune-up. We know it's going to be much cooler tomorrow, at least 20, 25 degrees cooler, supposedly [according to] the weatherman."

McClenathan faces Michael Gunderson in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Michael Gunderson