Las Vegas II: Cory McClenathan preview

Cory Mac's Goal at Vegas: Win One for Cookie McClenathan Hopes to Say Farewell to Cookie The Cocker Spaniel with Shootout, ACDelco Nationals Wins Cory McClenathan will have more than his usual motivation for winning this weekend's ACDelco ...

Cory Mac's Goal at Vegas: Win One for Cookie
McClenathan Hopes to Say Farewell to Cookie The Cocker Spaniel with Shootout, ACDelco Nationals Wins

Cory McClenathan will have more than his usual motivation for winning this weekend's ACDelco Nationals and Technicoat Shootout. Cookie the Cocker Spaniel, his regular traveling companion for the past 17 years, didn't make the trip from Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Failing health and old age caught up with the cute dog earlier this week, forcing McClenathan to have her euthanized.

"That was a very difficult thing for me to do," McClenathan said, "but I feel fortunate to have had her with me while I was driving my trailer to the races. She was a great travel companion and one of my best friends. That's why I want to win the race for her."

McClenathan will get two opportunities at race victories at The Strip. He and the FRAM Top Fuel team can take home $100,000 Saturday by winning the special Technicoat Top Fuel Shootout (formerly the Budweiser Shootout). The eight drivers with the most qualifying points this season are vying for the top prize. The event is run in conjunction with Saturday qualifying for Sunday's penultimate 2007 POWERade Series event.

McClenathan was eighth in points. He races pacesetter Tony Schumacher in the opening round. In other pairings, Rod Fuller races David Grubnic, Larry Dixon meets J.R. Todd and Melanie Troxel meets Brandon Bernstein.

"I am looking forward to the Shootout," said McClenathan, who wouldn't mind sharing the largess with a crew that has endured more than the usual ups and downs this season. "We were happy to get in the top eight. We didn't make it for sure until the last qualifying runs at Richmond (Va., Oct. 6) where we qualified 12th. My focus this weekend is to try and win that race Saturday . . . and do the same thing on Sunday.

"In a couple of days (Nov. 4 at Pomona, Calif.) the season will be over and this FRAM team wants to go out with a bang."

When the curtain does fall, he hopes to be listed among Top Fuel's top 10 in points. McClenathan, in his 16th full season, has been in that select group in all 15 seasons he's run all the races. He is 11th with 923 points, 17 behind Grubnic.

While the season will soon be history, McClenathan will stay busy. He plans to visit the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on Monday and Tuesday before going to Pomona, Calif., for the Auto Club Finals, Nov. 1-4. He leaves on a USO-sponsored goodwill trip to visit wounded American troops and Air Force and Army personnel stationed at Kaiserslautern Military Community in Germany on Nov. 10.

McClenathan also is working on a trip to Australia in early December to run several match races.

-credit: sgr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Melanie Troxel , Brandon Bernstein , Cory Mac , Rod Fuller , J.R. Todd