Englishtown: Cory McClenathan preview

McClenathan primed to qualify well and win rounds in E-town INDIANAPOLIS (June 16, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster pilot Cory McClenathan is primed and ready to qualify well and win rounds at this weekend's NHRA SuperNationals at historic Old...

McClenathan primed to qualify well and win rounds in E-town

INDIANAPOLIS (June 16, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster pilot Cory McClenathan is primed and ready to qualify well and win rounds at this weekend's NHRA SuperNationals at historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the 11th stop on the 24-race 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule.

Those goals are always part of the mindset of a man in his 18th year driving in the Top Fuel class - known as "the kings of the sport" - and the most tenured driver in the category. And consistency is what McClenathan and crew chief Mike Green are seeking in order to achieve those goals as the NHRA tour closes in on the midway point of the season.

"We're looking for consistency right now," said McClenathan, who has never won in Englishtown, but has one national-event win to his credit this season, and 30 in his career. "We've been a little bit off lately. We hated losing in the first round in Joliet, Ill. (June 5). That was a rough one.

"We just need to get qualified in the right position so we can go out and do our jobs. That takes going down the track four times on Friday and Saturday; we're going back to the fundamentals. We'll worry about racing on Sunday when the time comes," added McClenathan, who has three runner-up finishes in Englishtown (1992, 1998 and 2004).

McClenathan is No. 6 in the Top Fuel point standings, solidly entrenched in the top 10 on the strength of two final-round appearances in the first five races, including a win at Las Vegas. He's reached the semifinals once and the quarterfinals twice. He also qualified No. 1 in Atlanta - the 31st Top Fuel pole of his career - and has entered eliminations six times this season from the top half of the 16-car field.

"We've been to three finals in Englishtown in the past so we know we can be successful there, but at the same time if you can't win one there it kind of makes you wonder," he said. "This is just one of those races that have eluded me over the years, so it would be fantastic to go there and win one. The weather is supposed to be warm, but we've got a good warm-weather tune-up. We just need to make up some points and hold our ground in the top 10.

"We always get a large following of fans from Honeywell International (FRAM's parent company) that come to Englishtown from Morristown, N.J., and that's a big deal for us. There's been a lot of history there and we'd like to be a part of it this year," said McClenathan, of the fourth oldest race on the NHRA tour. "This is a good race car and we have a lot of good people working on it. We feel extremely confident.

"Englishtown is one of those races where the FRAM team really likes going to. Being so close to New York City, the crew will try to spend at least one day there and try to relax a little bit, and maybe take in a show and have a good dinner."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan