Phoenix: Cory McClenathan preview

MCCLENATHAN LOOKS TO RIDE MOMENTUM OF FAST SEASON START INTO PHOENIX INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 19, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan is looking to carry the momentum of his consistent performance at the season-opening ...

MCCLENATHAN LOOKS TO RIDE MOMENTUM OF FAST SEASON START INTO PHOENIX

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 19, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan is looking to carry the momentum of his consistent performance at the season-opening Winternationals into this weekend's NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway on the outskirts of Phoenix, the second round of 24 of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

McClenathan enjoyed a stellar weekend in Pomona, Calif. (Feb. 7-10), making seven runs in the 4.50-second elapsed-time zone en route to a runner-up finish to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher. The 45-year-old racer left Pomona in second place in the Top Fuel point standings.

"I think we have a very good race car," said McClenathan, the 1994 Top Fuel winner at Firebird against Joe Amato. "With (crew chief) Mike Green back at the helm things have changed radically in my racing career. This is one of those situations where it's kind of mine to lose. I know Mike and the rest of the guys are going to do a great job and that the car is going to go from A to B. We may not have the fastest car on the block yet, but I think we'll be running with everybody very quickly. I think we have one of the more consistent Top Fuel cars out there and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

"Mike is not a guy who is going to make giant changes," added McClenathan. "He's going to make small changes and make sure that everything stays consistent. The way his demeanor is and the way he goes about things I'm very happy with. If we give Mike the same package every time out there it's just going to get better and better. I just want to do my job to make sure I do the same thing every time.

"Being consistent puts the other guys and girls in a position where they have to beat us. They know they have to get to the other end. I'm very confident that we have a great team, a great race car and a great team owner in Don Schumacher."

McClenathan returns to Firebird Raceway after several days of tests at the pre-season National Time Trials in January. "If you look back you'll see that we didn't hurt any parts and our testing went fairly good and obviously Pomona went very well," he said. "So I would have to consider this the perfect start to a great season. Going rounds is what it's all about. We may not be able to go out there and win every single race, but it gives us something to shoot for.

"If we can just keep on repeating and go to the semis and go to a few finals and win some races, we'll know we have a good a car. I know there's a lot more power left in the FRAM Top Fuel dragster and there's a lot more we can utilize in the nitro department, but I'm going to leave that up to Mike. I think he's taking a great approach on that."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Cory McClenathan , Don Schumacher