MCCLENATHAN RACES TO SEMIFINAL FINISH IN NORWALK NORWALK, Ohio (June 29, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan raced to his third semifinal finish in the last four races at the Second Annual NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, ...
MCCLENATHAN RACES TO SEMIFINAL FINISH IN NORWALK
NORWALK, Ohio (June 29, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan raced to his third semifinal finish in the last four races at the Second Annual NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, today. McClenathan lost to Brandon Bernstein in the semis when he red-lighted, but still moved up to fifth in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel point standings.
McClenathan roared past his first two opponents, defeating Morgan Lucas in the first round with an elapsed time of 4.640 seconds at 308.64 mph to Lucas' 4.668/298.07, and J.R. Todd with a 4.638/305.77 to a 5.048/238.13. He was two-thousandths of a second too quick in the semis, turning on the red light to disqualify his 4.636/275.00 pass and giving Bernstein the win with a 4.654/300.93.
"I'm trying to rebound from last weekend," said McClenathan, referring to his holeshot loss in Englishtown. "Sometimes when you get beat on a holeshot like that it sets you back and it's not something that you fix overnight. I realize now that after having my eyes done (Lasik eye surgery prior to Englishtown) it takes some time for them to come back to where I want them to be. Everyone I've talked to about it, including my doctor and people who have had it done, have told me to be patient, but I'm not a very patient person.
"I tried to be patient coming in here this weekend and I just tried to steadily improve on my lights. And that worked and we did exactly that. I think my biggest problem was that I went into this semifinal against Brandon thinking that these guys are going to step up, we're going to step up and this is going to be a very close drag race, so I need to be on my game. When it was time to leave I left. It just happened to be a little bit too early.
"The biggest thing for me right now is that this is not hurting us that much other than winning races," added McClenathan, "and winning races is what I'm here to do. But I don't want the FRAM guys to lose their confidence in me because I haven't lost confidence in myself as much as I feel like I let these guys down the last couple of races. What I'm trying to do is condition myself for the Western Swing and from Indy on and that's really the most important thing here. The best thing I can do for myself is keep working and be on my game when it comes to Indy (U.S. Nationals, following which the Countdown to the Championship begins) and that's what I plan on doing. The biggest thing is that I know I have a consistent, safe race car beneath me."
The next race for McClenathan and the FRAM team will be the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver, July 11-13.