Dallas: Cory McClenathan preview

McClenathan still watching Budweiser Shootout points DALLAS (September 20, 2005) -- Cory McClenathan, who drives the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM AirHog Top Fuel dragster, did what he wanted at the last race in Reading, Penn. He ...

McClenathan still watching Budweiser Shootout points

DALLAS (September 20, 2005) -- Cory McClenathan, who drives the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM AirHog Top Fuel dragster, did what he wanted at the last race in Reading, Penn. He picked up points on the two drivers that were immediately in front of him in the Budweiser Shootout. In fact, he went around one of them. But with two races left to qualify for the Shootout, Cory Mac is holding his breath.

At the just completed NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals, McClenathan qualified sixth, worth 135 points. Scott Kalitta and David Grubnic were tied for sixth in Shootout points and just 15 points in front McClenathan going into the Reading race. Kalitta qualified 11th, adding an additional total of 110 points. Grubnic grabbed the No. 8 qualifying spot and 125 points.

The end result was that as we enter qualifying for this weekend's NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec, Grubnic is still in sixth, but only 5 points in front of McClenathan. Cory Mac is now seventh, 10 points ahead of Scott Kalitta in eighth.

But there are still two races to determine which Top Fuel driver finishes where in the Budweiser Shootout.

"Nothing is settled. Nothing is cast in concrete," said McClenathan from his home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. "As close as qualifying is at any given race, anything can happen in two races. The only thing that I can say good right now is that we're no longer on that number eight bubble. There is no way to feel comfortable about the Shootout until qualifying is over in Chicago. Until then I'm holding my breath."

Only the top seven point earners are guaranteed a spot in the Budweiser Shootout field, a special event held during the NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The eighth position will be determined by a lottery-style drawing from the eighth through 15th qualifiers.

Points are awarded based on how a driver qualifies at each event as follows: No. 1 qualifier earns 175 points, No. 2 earns 165 points, No. 3 earns 155 points, and No. 4 earns 145 points. Points than decrease by five points for qualifying positions five through 16 (with No. 5 earning 140 points down to No. 16 earning 85 points). If you do not qualifying at an event, you do not earn Budweiser Shootout qualifying points at that event.

Anheuser-Busch provides an overall purse of $239,000 for the popular Budweiser Shootout program in 2005. The Shootout will feature a race-day purse of $147,000. McClenathan has appeared in 12 previous Budweiser Shootouts and would like to take home the winner's share of the purse -- $100,000 of Budweiser's money.

The runner-up will earn $15,000. The two semifinalists will earn $6,000 each and the four first-round finishers $5,000 apiece. Budweiser also awards $92,000 in bonuses to No. 1 qualifiers throughout the Shootout series, with the low qualifier earning $4,000 at each national event leading up to the Shootout . QUALIFYING: Qualifying gets underway for the 20th running of the O'Reilly Fall Nationals for McClenathan and the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM AirHog Dragster at the Texas Motorplex, near Ennis, Texas, with two nitro fuel sessions on Friday, scheduled for 5 and 7:30 p.m. Nitro fuel qualifying concludes with two additional sessions on Saturday, at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. McClenathan begins his quest for the Top Fuel title on Sunday with eliminations for all classes getting underway at 11 a.m. Times are local Dallas time -- Central Time (CT) -- 1 hour behind Eastern Time (ET) -- and subject to change at anytime.

-cbr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Scott Kalitta , Cory Mac