Pomona: Cory McClenathan final report

"HOT" CORY MAC GOES TO THE SEMIS POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 14, 2010) - Cory McClenathan is hot, and it's not just because of the brilliant neon orange color of his fire suit and the FRAM Top Fuel dragster he's driving in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle...

"HOT" CORY MAC GOES TO THE SEMIS

POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 14, 2010) - Cory McClenathan is hot, and it's not just because of the brilliant neon orange color of his fire suit and the FRAM Top Fuel dragster he's driving in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. He demonstrated heat on the race track as well at the season-opening 50th annual NHRA Winternationals.

He stormed the field by qualifying No. 1 with a 3.787/320.05, then dismissed Steve Faria in the opening round of eliminations with a 3.843/318.77 (second quickest of the round). He followed that with a 3.855/314.39 (also second quickest) to take out Shawn Langdon in the quarterfinals.

He met his match in the semifinal round against Doug Kalitta, whose previous laps of 4.518/254.14 and 3.929/309.84 belied his ability to knock out McClenathan with a stunning 3.849/315.64 to McClenathan's solid 3.860/315.86.

"We didn't expect Doug to throw that .84," said McClenathan, who leaves Pomona third in the point standings. "That's what drag racing is all about. We were trying to run what we ran in the previous run and we ran a little bit off and Doug stepped up. That's the way it goes; that's the way it is.

"Doug was ahead of me on the starting line, too, but at the same time we win as a team and we lose as a team."

McClenathan's parachutes didn't fully deploy in the second round, resulting in his making a sharp left turn to exit the race track at relatively high speed, to the concern of everyone watching. "I didn't want to put it in the sand," explained "Cory Mac." "Obviously, the brakes work well on the FRAM car and I knew I was a little on the fast side. As long as everybody was out of the way and I had a clear shot at it, I figured we would make it. I didn't know what else to do. I didn't want to have to dig this thing out of the sand. That's a lot of work for the FRAM guys. I figured I could take a shot. If I have to throw it a little sideways that's what I have to do. I just wanted to get it off the track safely.

"It's a short shutdown area at this track, so you have to be prepared for that. It didn't start bouncing. If it was bouncing that would have been a bad scene, but it was good, it was solid, it was on the ground.

"Overall, a great weekend," he added. "We were flying new colors and obviously the FRAM guys did a great job in testing and brought our A game in here. I still feel like we're leaving here in a very good spot. We have a great car that goes A to B every single time. They're going to have to step up to beat us."

Next up is the 26th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals in Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 19-21.

-source: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac , Shawn Langdon , Steve Faria