Memphis: Cory McClenathan final report

MCCLENATHAN MOVES INTO SECOND IN COUNTDOWN POINTS WITH QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN MEMPHIS MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Sept. 28, 2008) -- Cory McClenathan drove the FRAM Top Fuel dragster to a quarterfinal finish today at the 21st annual NHRA Mid-South Nationals...

MCCLENATHAN MOVES INTO SECOND IN COUNTDOWN POINTS WITH QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN MEMPHIS

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Sept. 28, 2008) -- Cory McClenathan drove the FRAM Top Fuel dragster to a quarterfinal finish today at the 21st annual NHRA Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park and moved into second in the Countdown to 1 point standings. It marked the fifth time this season that McClenathan has reached the quarterfinals.

He began the day by defeating Bob Vandergriff Jr. with an elapsed time of 3.888 seconds at 305.08 mph, which gave him lane choice against quarterfinal opponent Hillary Will. Will had the jump off the starting line with a .094 to a .159 reaction time (.000 is perfect) and McClenathan chased after her. He was close, but his quicker 3.913/302.48 pass wasn't enough to hold off Will, who posted a slower but winning 3.929/301.81.

"We obviously needed to get that 20 points in the first round and needed certain people to go out and that all went very well," said McClenathan. "In the second round the FRAM dragster was flawless once again. I just flat made a mistake. I didn't concentrate on what I was supposed to do at the time and sometimes as a driver those split second deals are enough to cost you a race.

"When I glanced over to see if Hillary was in (the staging beams) the lights were already coming down and I knew I was late off the line. I knew I got beat on a holeshot before I even got out of the car and I don't even have a radio. But I wanted to make sure that the FRAM dragster went down the track so the team would know that they didn't make a mistake.

"The FRAM guys are great and they're a championship-caliber race team. I just made a crucial mistake today. Hopefully I'll be given a chance to make up for it in the next race or two. We're not out of this thing. We go to Richmond in a couple of weeks and I've had a lot of good luck at that track so we can't wait to get there."

The next race for McClenathan and the FRAM Top Fuel team will be the 3rd annual NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., Oct. 10-12.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Bob Vandergriff , Hillary Will