Norwalk: Cory McClenathan preview

MCCLENATHAN READY TO RACE IN NORWALK INDIANAPOLIS (June 25, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan is ready to return to competition at this weekend's second annual NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, as he continues to cope with...

MCCLENATHAN READY TO RACE IN NORWALK

INDIANAPOLIS (June 25, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan is ready to return to competition at this weekend's second annual NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, as he continues to cope with the tragic loss of Funny Car driver and close friend Scott Kalitta, who died resulting from injuries after an accident at the NHRA SuperNationals last Saturday.

This weekend's race, the 12th of 24 events of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, marks the halfway point in the season, with only six races remaining until the cutoff for the top 10 in points who will take part in the Countdown to the Championship, beginning after the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend.

Like everyone else in Englishtown, McClenathan raced with a heavy heart last Sunday, reaching the semifinals before losing to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher. "Scott was quite a character and I am thankful to have known him so well," he said of his longtime friend.

"First and foremost, I'm glad we're going right back into another race this weekend," he added.

"I think we've got a pretty good race car. The cold hard facts are that had it not been for me not leaving the starting line on time we would have been in the final round in Englishtown and hopefully had gone on to win ourselves another drag race, but it just wasn't the case. Sometimes you leave on time and sometimes you don't and obviously I got beat by my teammate on a holeshot and I don't take that lightly in any way, shape or form.

"The FRAM dragster is running good," continued McClenathan, who maintained a firm grip on sixth place in the Top Fuel point standings following E-town. "I'm glad for that and I think that'll be a good thing going into Norwalk. The FRAM guys have been doing a great job and we just need to try and keep on going rounds. We were able to go a few last weekend and it would be nice to go a few this weekend."

McClenathan has enjoyed success at Norwalk while competing there in the IHRA Series and he is excited to return to the Ohio facility. "We've done well there in the past," he said. "I've raced IHRA there and done very well and we qualified well there last year (No. 5). We just got beat in the first round. It's one of those deals where it's hard for me to respond too quickly on how I feel about Norwalk because we've only been there a few times, but I look forward to it. They did a great job getting it ready for our inaugural event last year and they've spent a lot of time working on the place and I think it'll be even better this year."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan , Scott Kalitta , Don Schumacher