Millington: Cory McClenathan eliminations summary

Fourth place McClenathan increases point lead on fifth and sixth. MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Henkelman & Baca Centennial Batteries Top Fuel Dragster, lost to Tony Schumacher in the second round losing some ground in...

Fourth place McClenathan increases point lead on fifth and sixth.

MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Henkelman & Baca Centennial Batteries Top Fuel Dragster, lost to Tony Schumacher in the second round losing some ground in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series point standings.

First up for McClenathan was Mike Smith. It turned out to be a pretty good drag race. Smith was away first at the green, pedaled (on and off the throttle) several times and was coming on strong at the top end. McClenathan's car didn't run the numbers the Henkelman & Baca Team expected and went away near the finish line. But for McClenathan, who reached the finish line first, it was a win by about a half a car length.

"It started giving up the ghost about 1200-feet," said McClenathan of his first round run against Smith. "(Crew chief) Wes Cerny made the right calls. He told me just to do my job on the starting line. Mike's very good on the lights. You could hear Smith right next to me. This was one of those good old drag races. Mac Tools thank you."

In the quarterfinals it was a heavyweight match-up -- McClenathan, fourth in points, versus Tony Schumacher, third in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing point standings.

Schumacher got a small advantage at the start. Once again everything was okay for McClenathan until the top end of the track. Then the Henkelman & Baca Centennial Batteries Dragster started mixing up cylinders, with maybe one or two going away. Then at the lights McClenathan's engine let go in a fireball. Schumacher, with low elapsed time and top speed of the second round, takes the win.

In an interview with NHRA announcer Alan Reinhart following the engine explosion McClenathan said, "I'm fine. These things get your attention especially after some things I've been through in the past. I don't think it was a tune-up deal; I think we broke a part in there. Cerny had a great tune-up in the car and it was another good old drag race. Tony (Schumacher) came out on the better end. We've got to make this a points race for third place."

In points, the good news is that McClenathan picked up points on both Darrell Russell, who's in fifth, and Doug Kalitta, in sixth. The bad news is that Cory Mac loses points to the top three in the point standings.

Unofficially, McClenathan is 28 points ahead of Darrell Russell and 47 in front of Doug Kalitta. Losing 40 points to Tony Schumacher, McClenathan now is 106 points behind the third place driver. Dixon, who won today's event in Top Fuel and leads the point standings, sits 553 points in front of Cory Mac and 104 points in front of second place Kenny Bernstein

McClenathan and the Henkelman and Baca Centennial Batteries Top Fuel Dragster will be on display at the Empress Casino in Joliet, Ill., on Wednesday, September 25th from 3 p.m. through 7:30 p.m. McClenathan will be signing autographs from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Next up for McClenathan and the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports team is the final of three races on three consecutive weekends for the POWERade Drag Racing Series. The 2nd annual NHRA Craftsman 75th Anniversary Nationals presented by Racing Champions, at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., unfolds September 26-29.

-h&bm-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac , Mike Smit