MCCLENATHAN TAKES THIRD IN 2010 NHRA TOP FUEL CHAMPIONSHIP POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2010) - Cory McClenathan raced the FRAM Top Fuel dragster to third place in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series class championship today at the 46th...
MCCLENATHAN TAKES THIRD IN 2010 NHRA TOP FUEL CHAMPIONSHIP
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2010) - Cory McClenathan raced the FRAM Top Fuel dragster to third place in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series class championship today at the 46th annual NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif. "Cory Mac" reached the quarterfinal round after defeating T.J. Zizzo in the opening stanza, then was dismissed by Morgan Lucas in the second round.
His 3.866-second winning run at 313.44 mph earned him lane choice in the quarterfinal against Lucas, but it wasn't enough to defeat him, as the FRAM dragster lost cylinders and traction to slow to a 4.792/138.87 losing pass to Lucas' winning 4.003/299.93. With that, he accepted his third-place season finish behind newly-crowned champion Larry Dixon and his DSR teammate Tony Schumacher.
"We've been plagued by parts breakage and this time the barrel valve on the injector broke first," said McClenathan, who is now a free agent after being released by team owner Don Schumacher earlier this month. "That was the chicken before the egg, I guess. And when that happens everything gets lean and it gets unhappy and that's what happened.
"It's unfortunate because I think we had a good car and the car to beat today. Obviously, we had a couple of guys who were running right there with us, but I certainly think that we had what it took to go out and win today. And it would have been nice for me to win the last race of the year."
McClenathan recapped the 2010 NHRA season: "Gosh, you have to look back and think what a great season it was when you finish third, you win some races, go to a lot of final rounds, and be in contention for the championship a few different times. We were leading the deal at one point.
"It started out great early, it got really good towards the middle, and we were all swinging together when it came to the Countdown. It had all the makings of a great season. It's hard to put that into perspective when all of a sudden the news comes down the pipes that you're not going to be driving the car next year.
"All I have to say about that is that it is what it is. My relationship with Don Schumacher still stands, and with all the sponsors on the car I feel the same way. We'll go down the road and try to work on a new adventure.
"But, what a great season, with great guys working on the car. (Crew chiefs) Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler, and (car chief) Scott Okuhara and the boys did a great job. It's the guys behind the scenes a lot of times who really keep it going: Dave McCombs, the Boyington guys (Tommy and Shane), Mike Knudsen doing the clutch, Michael Lance building the motors, Jason and Justin Jones (no relation) who do a breadth of stuff all over the car. These are the guys who really don't get the credit a lot of times.
"The FRAM guys have done great this year and they have all the makings of a championship team. It's unfortunate that I couldn't stay with them and keep on working with them. I'll still be around and they're all my friends."
McClenathan ended the 2010 NHRA season with three wins in eight final rounds, seven semifinal and five quarterfinal finishes, five No. 1 qualifiers and a round-win record of 44-20. His career numbers include 401 races, 34 wins in 65 final rounds, 77 semifinals, 128 quarterfinals and 38 No. 1 qualifiers. His career round-win record is 513-361.