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McClenathan Adopts 'Spoiler' Role For Final Five NHRA Races Because his FRAM Top Fuel team was not able to find a consistent tune-up that could keep Cory McClenathan in championship contention, the veteran driver from Lake Havasu City,...

McClenathan Adopts 'Spoiler' Role For Final Five NHRA Races

Because his FRAM Top  Fuel team was not able to find a consistent tune-up
that could keep Cory  McClenathan in championship contention, the veteran driver
from Lake Havasu  City, Ariz., wants to help determine the eventual winner.
"I don't  have any favorites," he said.  "I still want to win races, and
that's what  we will be looking for over the last five races of the season.  We'
d like  to play a part in the outcome by beating every one of the top eight
cars when we  have a chance to race them."
There is the motivation for  McClenathan, in his 16th full season of NHRA
POWERade Series competition.   And he is serious.  "We want to be a thorn in
their sides; the car they  don't want to race.  Our goal is to win races and get
this team dialed in  for 2008."
McClenathan's next opportunity to play spoiler comes in  the 20th O'Reilly
Mid-South Nationals, Sept. 14-16, at Memphis Motorsports  Park.  It is the
second of four events in NHRA's Countdown to Four  championship format.
"Memphis is the place where I won my first Top Fuel  race," he added, "and
that was in 1992.  We had a good weekend then with  Jimmy Prock tuning the car.
 I can't think of a better place to win with  our new team."

McClenathan has qualified for all three races with his new team and advanced one round each time. He's also improved his qualifying performances, going from 16th, to 11th, to ninth.

"Keith Adams, our  new crew chief, and I are getting to know each other.  He'
s doing a good  job," McClenathan said. "I'm excited to be able to get after
it again and see  what Keith can do to help us improve even more."
His first-round  win at Indianapolis on Labor Day came against Morgan Lucas,
another driver who  wasn't in the top eight. But McClenathan drew a toughie in
the quarterfinals --  defending race and POWERade champion Tony Schumacher.
His quickest run of  the day, 4.544 seconds, was enough to end Cory Mac's day.

But it didn't dampen his enthusiasm.

"We have  some issues with our Friday night tune-ups," McClenathan said. "We
need to get  down the track in the night qualifying session. If you don't,
you are in  trouble. That's one area Keith  and (assistant crew chief) Tony
Shortall  will be working on.  I'm confident that we can continue improving . . .
and  keep the guys in the race for the championship on their toes."

The new format, however, ends McClenathan's streak of top 10 finishes at 15. NHRA is recognizing only those included in the top eight this year.

***

Fun at Mid-Ohio

McClenathan had an opportunity to drive race cars that turn left and right during a recent one-day outing Mid-Ohio race track's 2.4-mile road course in Lexington.

"The folks at JEGS invited me to the event that included a road-course driving school," McClenathan said. "It was a blast driving around the track. It certainly is a lot different than what I do. Troy Coughlin and Scott "Woody" Woodruff, JEGS' pr guy, were there."

-credit: sgr

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