Phoenix: Cory McClenathan Saturday notes

MCCLENATHAN QUALIFIES NO. 10 IN PHOENIX PHOENIX, Ariz. (Feb. 23, 2008) - Cory McClenathan qualified the Don Schumacher Racing FRAM Top Fuel dragster in the No. 10 spot on Saturday for the NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway. With Friday's first...

MCCLENATHAN QUALIFIES NO. 10 IN PHOENIX

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Feb. 23, 2008) - Cory McClenathan qualified the Don Schumacher Racing FRAM Top Fuel dragster in the No. 10 spot on Saturday for the NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway.

With Friday's first day of professional qualifying washed out due to rain, McClenathan was left with just two chances on Saturday to qualify the FRAM dragster for Sunday's eliminations. McClenathan made a strong opening run to qualify in the No. 4 spot with a 4.586-second elapsed time at 318.24 mph, coming very close to teammate Tony Schumacher in the opposite lane during the pass.

"We both actually moved toward the centerline during the run," explained McClenathan. "Then when we shut them off we were definitely close to each other down there. There's a point of no return and I'm not going to do anything that is dumb and drive over my head. That's the closest I've come to going over the centerline in a long time. But when you come in here and you know you only have two runs to make the show, you kind of run it like you would on Sunday and you're not going to lift. I'm always very comfortable running with Tony, so I don't have to worry about him. I know my teammate is going to do the right thing. We both laughed about it down there because we knew we were very close, but we would never do anything to put each other in danger."

McClenathan lifted off the throttle early during his second attempt, posting a 5.107/188.83, to end the day in No. 10 going into Sunday's eliminations.

"It's very important for us to be able to come out on Saturday swinging and at least go A to B so the team has something to work off of," said McClenathan. "Obviously, by the numbers, the team really did a good job on that last run. I shut it off early because I felt something and we're still kind of looking at everything to see what it was. I'm not sure yet if it was my imagination, but usually when I feel something, there's something going on that's odd. But our incremental numbers on the second run were good enough to be No. 1 qualifier.

"If it runs like this tomorrow I think we'll be in good shape. We'll just take one round at a time. We've got Bob Vandergriff in the first round and they're a proven team and they do a great job, but so do the FRAM guys. (Crew chief) Mike Green and the boys will be ready to win tomorrow."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan , Bob Vandergriff