Las Vegas II: Cory McClenathan Saturday notes

MCCLENATHAN GRABS NO. 5 IN LAS VEGAS QUALIFYING LAS VEGAS (Nov. 1, 2008) -- Cory McClenathan qualified the FRAM Top Fuel dragster No. 5 today at the eighth annual Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He nailed down...

MCCLENATHAN GRABS NO. 5 IN LAS VEGAS QUALIFYING

LAS VEGAS (Nov. 1, 2008) -- Cory McClenathan qualified the FRAM Top Fuel dragster No. 5 today at the eighth annual Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He nailed down a 4.852-second elapsed time at 314.17 mph to qualify in the top half of the field for the 15th time this season.

He also recorded runs of 6.955/89.61 (No. 15), 3.994/288.21 (No. 4), and a 5.970/104.01 (No. 5). He'll have lane choice over Morgan Lucas in round one of Sunday's eliminations.

"We expected to come out and run better than we have this weekend," said McClenathan, who is No. 4 in the Countdown to 1 playoffs aiming to move up higher this weekend before the season finale in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 16. His Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher clinched his sixth Top Fuel championship today. "Our 4.85 Friday night was the only good run we really had. We're lucky to have stayed No. 5 in qualifying. But we need that right now. We need to win rounds tomorrow; that's the biggest thing.

"I think (crew chief) Mike Green and (assistant crew chief) Neal Strausbaugh will get it figured out. They have to. It's getting real important right now. We want to try and finish this season in second place. If you can't be first and you're going to be a runner-up as many times (five) as I have been you at least would like to do it again to show that you can get it done. We have the car, we have the people, we have all the great sponsors, we're part of DSR and I'm lucky to drive this car. But the biggest thing is that we need to go out and prove it a little more. We're not done yet."

McClenathan congratulated his teammate Schumacher and the U.S. Army team on capturing their fifth consecutive crown.

"Tony has done a great job this season driving the U.S. Army car," he said. "What can you say about his crew chief Alan Johnson? He's amazing. But, really, the backbone of that team is the crew members. They have some incredible people over there working on that race car and they're all very good at what they do.

"My congratulations go out to the entire team. It takes a team. There is no one person and it's not a one-man show. They've shown once again that, as a team, if you stay together you can make a lot of things happen and they've done that again this year."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Morgan Lucas , Don Schumacher