Denver: Cory McClenathan final report

MCCLENATHAN ADVANCES TO THE SEMIFINALS IN THIRD STRAIGHT RACE MORRISON, Colo. (July 13, 2008) -- If nothing else, FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan has demonstrated a streak of consistency. McClenathan advanced to the semifinals for...

MCCLENATHAN ADVANCES TO THE SEMIFINALS IN THIRD STRAIGHT RACE

MORRISON, Colo. (July 13, 2008) -- If nothing else, FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan has demonstrated a streak of consistency. McClenathan advanced to the semifinals for the third consecutive NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series race at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals today, moving up to fourth in Top Fuel point standings. It was the fourth time in the past five events that McClenathan has advanced to the semis. He also set low elapsed time of 3.929 seconds and top speed of 308.07 mph of the event.

As No. 1 qualifier, McClenathan began the day with a single "bye" run in the first round of eliminations as only 15 Top Fuel cars were competing at the event. He roared to a 4.283/209.79 pass to gain lane choice over quarterfinal opponent Doug Kalitta. The 17-year Top Fuel veteran then took out Kalitta with a 4.197/270.59 to Kalitta's 4.403/237.38, earning him lane choice again in the semifinals against Antron Brown.

McClenathan dropped a cylinder just off the starting line against Brown in the semis and it may have cost him the race. The FRAM dragster recorded a 4.236/246.12, but it wasn't enough to defeat Brown, who took the win with a 4.245/257.73.

"(Crew chief) Mike Green and the FRAM guys did a great job," said McClenathan. "It's one of those things where you go out and qualify No. 1 and you want to go out and win on Sunday. We had a bye run in the first round and that's a gimme. Twenty extra points, that's perfect.

"But we had some trouble today. The FRAM dragster dropped cylinders at the hit of the throttle in both the second and third rounds and we don't know why. Mike Green and Neal Strausbaugh (assistant crew chief) and all the guys are doing the best they can and they're giving me a race car that is going down track. But it got out there against Antron and it had already dropped a cylinder and then we had problems at the other end. We drove around Antron and he drove around us at the very end. We just had a little bit more trouble than he did.

"I'm proud of all my guys. We know we have a good race car and we win and lose as a team. That's just the way it is. We picked up another position in the points and we're going to keep on going with that. We're just looking at the long term and how we're going to be in Indianapolis (the cutoff for the Countdown to the Championship after the U.S. Nationals there).

"We'd have liked to have won the Western Swing, but it's not going to happen for us this time. But we're sure as heck going to do one thing: we're going to stop anyone else from doing it here in the next couple of weeks."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan