Cory Mac: Consistency, Round Wins Very Important at Norwalk The last time Cory McClenathan visited Norwalk Raceway Park he drove into the finals of an IHRA two years ago. This time around, he joins the regular NHRA POWERade Series...
Cory Mac: Consistency, Round Wins Very Important at Norwalk
The last time Cory McClenathan visited Norwalk Raceway Park he drove into the finals of an IHRA two years ago.
This time around, he joins the regular NHRA POWERade Series contingent in returning to Norwalk -- renamed Summit Racing Equipment Raceway Park following a major renovation and sanctioning body change -- for the inaugural Summit Racing Equipment Nationals, Friday through Sunday.
"I know they've done a lot of work to the facility since the last time I was there. We are looking forward to racing there again and getting the win this time," said McClenathan, veteran driver of the Scott Griffin Motorsports FRAM Top Fuel dragster. "A lot of teams are going into the event with no runs on the track and no data, but we are fortunate because we have data from 2005."
Another visit to the finals here would help McClenathan's bid for a berth in the top eight portion of the new Countdown to the Championship format. This is the 11th of 17 events that decide the fate of the title contenders. The elite eight move to races 18-21 before the field is narrowed to the top four to settle the championship in the last two races.
"It's a close race for those positions and we have to win rounds to stay in it," said McClenathan, who has 29 career victories. He was runner-up at St. Louis last month and currently is ninth with 453 points, less than two rounds (at 20 points per round) out of sixth. "Obviously, we need to be in the top eight after 17 races. It is doable as long as we start winning rounds. We need to get a hot streak going."
McClenathan did qualify fifth last week in New Jersey with a 4.516-second effort, but the engine exploded in a huge fireball at the finish line on that run. He was upset in the first round.
Crew chief Wes Cerny and assistant crew chief Tony Shortall, meanwhile, continue pursuing consistent runs while McClenathan keeps a wary eye on point totals.
Qualifying runs are scheduled Friday at 5 and 8 p.m. and 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Sunday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
This race is the second race on the six-week marathon that continues to Bristol, Tenn.; Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. The final two of the Countdown to Eight races take place at Brainerd, Minn. (Aug. 10-12) and Reading, Pa. (Aug. 17-19).