Commerce: Cory McClenathan Saturday notes

MCCLENATHAN HOLDS ONTO NO. 1 IN ATLANTA QUALIFYING COMMERCE, Ga. (April 26, 2008) -- Cory McClenathan maintained the momentum he gained with his recent victory in Las Vegas by holding on to the No. 1 qualifying spot he earned Friday night...

MCCLENATHAN HOLDS ONTO NO. 1 IN ATLANTA QUALIFYING

COMMERCE, Ga. (April 26, 2008) -- Cory McClenathan maintained the momentum he gained with his recent victory in Las Vegas by holding on to the No. 1 qualifying spot he earned Friday night (4.562 seconds at 327.03 mph) through two more sessions at the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. It was McClenathan's 31st career No. 1, his third at Atlanta Dragway, and his first since Houston in 2006, 48 races ago.

In 1995, McClenathan took home one of his three career Top Fuel victories at the Georgia facility from the No. 1 position. He's won six of his 30 career Top Fuel titles as low qualifier.

"When things are going good, you kind of roll with it and it's a snowball effect," said McClenathan. "It makes all the difference in the world as far as the teams go and how they work. My guys are on a natural high right now and it's incredible. When we put the FRAM Top Fuel dragster in the winner's circle in Vegas we beat the odds there and once again we come in here with 16 good cars and we've been able to stay very consistent throughout the weekend."

McClenathan's first qualifying effort produced a 4.670/311.20 mph, good for No. 2 at the time. He returned for the third Top Fuel qualifying session on Saturday and once again set low elapsed-time of the round in the FRAM dragster with a powerful 4.581/308.28 to maintain No. 1 going into the final session. He completed qualifying with another consistent 4.602/321.35 to solidify his hold on No. 1.

"Considering it was supposed to rain this morning, we didn't see that, but we saw some heat," McClenathan said. "I think that actually helped us. We were able to figure out some things with the race track and (crew chief) Mike Green has done a great job with that. The car is running good from beginning to end and the 60-ft. times are outstanding considering that it's pretty warm out there. It ran a 4.58 and a 4.60 flat and I think that's a good set-up for tomorrow if the weather stays the same.

"I hope the FRAM Top Fuel dragster will go some rounds because that's what we really want. We're not trying to win a bunch of races, we're just trying to win a bunch of rounds," added McClenathan, who is fourth in the point standings. "The more rounds we win the better our points deal looks and we can stay with the top-five cars, and that's really what we want for this team. Thanks again to everybody at DSR and (U.S. Army crew chief) Alan Johnson and Mike Green and all my guys."

McClenathan will square off against Todd Paton in round one of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Todd Paton , Cory McClenathan