McCLENATHAN ACED IN THE QUARTERFINALS AT GATORNATIONALS GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2010) - It was beginning to look like Cory McClenathan and the FRAM Top Fuel dragster team would continue the roll they have been on this season, after a ...
McCLENATHAN ACED IN THE QUARTERFINALS AT GATORNATIONALS
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2010) - It was beginning to look like Cory McClenathan and the FRAM Top Fuel dragster team would continue the roll they have been on this season, after a semifinal finish and a victory in the first two events of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
He entered this weekend's 41st annual NHRA Gatornationals as the points leader, and his No. 5 qualifying position was not a true indicator of the quality and performance of the car co-crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler tuned to these excellent results.
But it all turned around in Sunday's eliminations, when McClenathan defeated Bobby Lagana in the opening round with a stout 3.830-second lap at 303.03 mph, then posted another solid pass of 3.840/315.42 in the quarterfinal, using an excellent .062 reaction time (.000 is perfect). The bad news was that Shawn Langdon, famous for his outstanding reaction times, aced "Cory Mac" with an even quicker launch of .046. That was enough for Langdon to triumph with a slower 3.852/317.57 pass. Margin of victory: two feet!
His Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher won the event, taking the points lead from McClenathan, who slipped to second, 11 points down.
"Going in, I thought I needed to have an .060 light and I had what I needed to have, but Shawn (Langdon) was just a little bit better," said McClenathan, who was looking for his first win at the Gatornationals. "Shawn is just great off the tree; he's done this to us before. I knew he was going to be quick but, I thought if I had an .060 light we would be good.
"It just kills you because you try to do such a good job for the guys on the FRAM team and I wanted to race Antron (Brown), my DSR teammate, in the semis so bad.
"We're lucky there's a whole lot of races left on this NHRA Full Throttle circuit, but at the same time we're in a learning curve. It's just, when you have a good light and it doesn't pay off, it's definitely disappointing. I just hate letting my FRAM guys down; that's the biggest thing.
"Big-picture thinking, though, we had a really good weekend and I'm just looking forward to the next race. We're going to Concord and we're going four-wide. It's going to be crazy for everybody, but I can guarantee one thing, we're going to learn from the experience."
Next up is the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Concord, N.C., March 25-28.