Gainesville: Cory McClenathan preview

Cory Mac Seeks End to Title-round Drought at Gatornationals Fifteen years . . . 29 victories . . . 49 final rounds . . . 15 top 10 finishes . . . They are part of Cory McClenathan's impressive NHRA Top Fuel career. He's done almost ...

Cory Mac Seeks End to Title-round Drought at Gatornationals

Fifteen years . . . 29 victories . . . 49 final rounds . . . 15 top 10 finishes . . .

They are part of Cory McClenathan's impressive NHRA Top Fuel  career.  He's
done almost everything except win a season title (he was  second four times)
and win three consecutive rounds at Gainesville  Raceway.
"That's interesting that I haven't been to a final there  in all these years," said the driver of the Carrier Boyz/Scott Griffin Racing  FRAM/Torco
dragster.  "I know we've certainly tried hard there, but  Gainesville is just one
of those tracks where when we needed a little luck, all  we got was bad luck.

"I think it's about time for a change."

That opportunity comes March 16-18 with the 38th running of the ACDelco Gatornationals.

"The Gainesville track has always been a good one," added McClenathan, of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. "If it is as good as usual, we could be running in the 4.40s (seconds) again. We haven't run up to our expectations yet this year. I know Wes (Cerny, crew chief) and Tony (Shortall, assistant crew chief) feel the same way.

"Good conditions will help because Wes and Tony can get aggressive  with the
tune-up.  I think they are starting to get in the groove as far as  the
tune-up goes and we should be able to qualify well and, hopefully, go some  rounds
on Sunday.  I'd be happy with a starting spot in the top  five."
McClenathan, who is 10th in POWERade Series points with 84,  prefers tacking
on as many round wins as possible as soon as possible.   NHRA's new Countdown
to the Championship slices the contenders to eight after 17  races.
"We need to keep pace with the rest of the top  teams," said McClenathan.  "
That's a necessity if we want a shot at the  championship later."
Some may think it is relatively early to be  fretting about points because 15
races remain before the Countdown's first cuts.  But that does, nonetheless,
put a premium on collecting multiple round-wins per  outing to maintain a
healthy title outlook.  The field shrinks to four for  the final two races.
"I don't know why we haven't done well at  Gainesville," McClenathan said. "
I guess that's just one of drag racing's  mysteries that needs to be solved."
The search for answers begins  with qualifying sessions at 1 and 3:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday.  Eliminations commence at 11 a.m.

-credit: cb/sgr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac