Joliet: Cory McClenathan preview

Cory Mac Aiming for Good Numbers at Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals Cory McClenathan likes Route 66 Raceway, one of the finest racing facilities on the NHRA tour. He has qualified No. 1 at the track twice (2000, 2004), but that's as close...

Cory Mac Aiming for Good Numbers at Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals

Cory McClenathan likes Route 66 Raceway, one of the finest racing facilities on the NHRA tour. He has qualified No. 1 at the track twice (2000, 2004), but that's as close as he's come to the winner's circle since it opened in 1998.

"It's a good track and all of us have been able to throw down good numbers almost every time we've raced there," said McClenathan. "Wes and Tony (Cerny, crew chief and Shortall, assistant crew chief, respectively) are looking forward to seeing how much power the track will take Friday night."

McClenathan and his Scott Griffin Motorsports FRAM Top Fuel teammates will gather at the ChicagoLand site in Joliet in racing conditions that may be good enough to produce eye-widening elapsed times. Early weather forecasts predict ideal temperatures.

"We are concentrating on going rounds and getting more of those valuable POWERade Series points," added McClenathan, who ranks ninth in points with 387 going into the ninth of 17 Countdown to Eight races. The top eight after the 17th outing will separate from the rest of the field and will decide the champion over the remaining six races. "Going rounds is very important at this point in the season," continued McClenathan. "We are getting to a crucial part of the schedule with six in a row coming up. It should be good for the fans because all of us will be trying to add as many points as we can from here on out. Positions could change in a hurry. It will be interesting to see how things work out."

The Top Fuel chase is tightly bunched from fourth to 10th place. Just 61 points separate McClenathan from fourth place. "It will be interesting to see how it turns out."

It took all of Cory Mac's astute driving ability to pedal his way to a first-round upset win over Joe Hartley last week at Topeka. Hartley, a relative newcomer, was low qualifier, and the FRAM dragster was 16th after battling an unpredictable racing surface during qualifying. McClenathan was able to make the most of the tire-smoking run. Pedaling with precision, he guided the car down the track in 5.834 seconds at 240.42 mph to Hartley's 8.183. In the quarterfinals, the FRAM car lost traction again, allowing David Grubnic to get to the win light in 5.559 seconds to Cory Mac's 5.961.

"We want to put on a good show for the folks at JET, our new associate sponsor, Scott Griffin, brought on board last week," McClenathan said. "Their headquarters are in Elgin, Ill."

-credit: sgm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac , Joe Hartley