Pomona II: Cory McClenathan preview

McClenathan after top five finish in points at Pomona. POMONA, Calif. -- Only 137 points separate third place in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings from seventh place. There are a total of 138 points up for grabs at the season-final...

McClenathan after top five finish in points at Pomona.

POMONA, Calif. -- Only 137 points separate third place in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings from seventh place. There are a total of 138 points up for grabs at the season-final 38th annual NHRA Automobile Club of Southern California Finals at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif. The drama will begin to unfold this weekend when qualifying starts on Thursday and by Sunday night, when eliminations end, each driver will know his fate.

Entering this event in fifth place in the NHRA POWERade point standings, Cory McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif., driver of the Henkelman & Baca Berryman B-12 Chemtooler Top Fuel Dragster, sits right in the middle of the five drivers that have a mathematical chance to end up in third. A chance that for some is the proverbial "slim or none".

The one and two spots in the Top Fuel point standings are wrapped up and belong to Larry Dixon and Kenny Bernstein respectively. Tony Schumacher is third and currently has 1397 points. Doug Kalitta is fourth with 1369 points, while McClenathan is fifth having accumulated 1310 points. Five points behind McClenathan in sixth is Darrell Russell with 1305. In seventh is Doug Herbert who is only mathematically alive in the quest for third. He has 1260 points, 137 behind Schumacher.

"Being realistic, unless Schumacher really slips up, third is his to lose," said McClenathan, who is 87 points behind Schumacher. "Kalitta has a shot at him but I would have to have a record setting weekend to jump to third. We want to finish in the top five and fourth is not out of reach for us. One thing we have to be mindful of is having Russell come around us from the backside. We must set our goal on third or fourth and at the same time not let Russell take fifth away from us. It going to be an interesting weekend.

"As this season comes to a close, I would like to thank Berryman Products for their support these final three races. They have made it possible for us to compete for a top five point finish, as have our season-long marketing partners: Centennial Batteries, Mac Tools, Pure Power Lubricants, Don Steves Chevrolet in nearby La Habra, California, Champion Spark Plugs and Goodyear. Thank you all. And a special thanks to all the fans who have supported me throughout the years.

"Finally, let me thank everyone associated with Henkelman And Baca Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to race this season. Rick and Linda Henkelman and David and Michele Baca and the entire crew have been there with their support throughout the entire season. I'm still hopeful that something will work out from a sponsorship angle that will keep us all together next year. If not, hopefully I'll have something come my way that will keep me racing."

McClenathan's results at the Finals have been bittersweet. He won the event in 1992, was runner up in 1994 and advanced to the semifinals two other times ('93 and '98) but one of his biggest disappointments came at this track in 2000, the last time that he competed in the Finals. After qualifying in 179 consecutive events, McClenathan failed to qualify, as rain washed out his final qualifying opportunity, at the 2000 Auto Club of Southern California Finals, his final race for team owner Joe Gibbs.

Berryman Products, Inc., a privately held company based in Arlington, Texas, manufactures and distributes the highest quality professional automotive chemical products throughout the US and internationally. With warehouse facilities in Alabama, Texas and California, Berryman products are sold to major auto parts chains, mass merchants and wholesale suppliers, independent automotive repair shops and car dealers. To learn more visit their website at www.berrymanproducts.com or contact the company at 800-433-1704.

-h&bm-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan