Denver: Cory McClenathan final report

MCCLENATHAN IS SEMIFINAL FINISHER IN DENVER MORRISON, Colo. (July 12, 2009) - Cory McClenathan drove the FRAM Tough Guard Top Fuel Dragster to a semifinal finish at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway today after defeating Terry...

MCCLENATHAN IS SEMIFINAL FINISHER IN DENVER

MORRISON, Colo. (July 12, 2009) - Cory McClenathan drove the FRAM Tough Guard Top Fuel Dragster to a semifinal finish at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway today after defeating Terry Haddock and Shawn Langdon in the first two rounds.

In his semifinal match-up against Doug Kalitta, N. 2 qualifier McClenathan fell victim to the new starting-light system, as his actions at the Christmas Tree resulted in damage to the clutch and engine, slowing him to a losing 4.279-second run at 259.51 mph. Kalitta took the win with a 3.997/303.16.

"It was a long light," he said. "In a driver's mind, it's time to go, it's time to go. I squeezed the throttle. Realizing I was too early I stopped myself with the brake, went back off, hit it again when the lights came down, but by then I'd already triggered some fuel systems that went off in the car and when I hit the gas again to leave, it just put cylinders out. I had already caused damage when I squeezed the throttle.

"Basically, it opened up some fuel areas that started drowning out the motor with fuel and we didn't have a chance after that. I was at the mercy of Doug that maybe he'd smoke the tires and I'd be able to get it down there and make up for my mistake.

"As I went by the tree it was still green so I went ahead and legged it through there. Probably not the smartest thing to do when you're trying to save engines. But, at the same time, I saw Doug beside me and thought, If they smoke their tires they're vulnerable. But it didn't happen and he won.

"We have a fantastic race car. (Crew chiefs) Todd (Okuhara) and Phil (Shuler) and the FRAM guys are making great calls. We have a race car that when we get to sea level (next week in Seattle) I think everybody is going to have to look out. We're going to have something that's going to run real hard at 1000 feet every single time. And once the driver becomes a driver again I think we'll be unstoppable.”

Next up is the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Kent, Wash., July 17-19.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Terry Haddock , Shawn Langdon