Phoenix: Cory McClenathan final report

McCLENATHAN EXITS IN PHOENIX FIRST ROUND CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 22, 2009) - Driving the FRAM Top Fuel dragster, Cory McClenathan made an early exit in eliminations at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, the second of 24 events of the 2009 NHRA Full ...

McCLENATHAN EXITS IN PHOENIX FIRST ROUND

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 22, 2009) - Driving the FRAM Top Fuel dragster, Cory McClenathan made an early exit in eliminations at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, the second of 24 events of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

Facing off against Pomona winner Doug Kalitta, McClenathan made an uncharacteristic error at the starting lights, resulting in his fouling out, while Kalitta cruised to victory with a 3.845-second elapsed time at 313.00 mph. “Cory Mac” leaves the Phoenix area in ninth place in the Top Fuel point standings.

"I guess I was compensating for the mistake I made last night in qualifying," said a dejected McClenathan. "There is nothing or anyone else to blame it on. It was time to leave, I left and I red-lighted. And a negative .129 is totally unlike me, characteristically. Whether it's the light that is longer (a new adjustment by NHRA to the sequence of the lights on the timing tree), or the mindset of thinking too much, I'm going to have to fix it after I figure out what it is.

"I don't want to let Todd and Phil (crew chiefs Okuhara and Shuler) and the guys down on this FRAM Top Fuel dragster; that's the biggest thing. Sometimes when I'm thinking about something I think about it so much that I overthink it and that's where we are right now. I overthought that mistake I made last night in qualifying where I squeezed the throttle. Didn't want to do it again, but I knew I had to cut a good light against Doug Kalitta. So, I probably compounded my problem by thinking about it too much.

"It's what I went to sleep thinking about and what I woke up thinking about. You can't do that in this sport. A professional driver is supposed to be doing the job right. So I need to go out there and do it right."

Next up for McClenathan is the 40th annual NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 13-15.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac