CORY MAC WINS SEATTLE! KENT, Wash. (July 11, 2010) - Today, at the 23rd annual NHRA Northwest Nationals, Cory McClenathan won his third NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel event of the year in five final rounds, the 34th of his career...
CORY MAC WINS SEATTLE!
KENT, Wash. (July 11, 2010) - Today, at the 23rd annual NHRA Northwest Nationals, Cory McClenathan won his third NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel event of the year in five final rounds, the 34th of his career in 62 final rounds, and is hoping to begin a charge for his second Western Swing sweep. No other driver has ever swept the Western Swing twice, and "Cory Mac" is one-third of the way to making that happen for him and the FRAM Top Fuel dragster team. He also moved into second in the point standings.
McClenathan defeated his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown (who won the Western Swing in 2009) in a close final round, using a 3.887-second run at 311.70 mph to beat Brown's 3.909/308.92. Margin of victory: approximately 11 feet.
En route to the money round, McClenathan dismissed Mike Strasburg (with a 3.821/319.37), David Grubnic (with a 3.853/310.34), and Shawn Langdon (with a 4.134/225.63), enjoying lane choice throughout the day.
"That's exactly what I was thinking in the final," he said of possibly sweeping his second Swing. "Here is Antron and myself, [and] we've both won this thing. I want to be the first one to do it two times; that's the biggest thing. I know that's a lot to ask for, but at the time it's like, 'OK, one round at a time. You can't get there until you win this one.' That's what we did.
"The FRAM guys did a great job today. The track was very tricky. There in the sun in the final was really tough. And because I've been here so many years I knew to put on the darkest shield you have and get up there and cut the best light (reaction time) you can.
"[Crew chiefs) Phil (Shuler) and Todd (Okuhara) and all the guys on the FRAM team were just flawless this weekend. They really did a great job. In the heat we may not have had the quickest car every time but our car went A to B every single time out there.
"Our teammate Antron, same thing with them. Side by side like that, I thought that was a pretty darned good final. So, for DSR and everybody on the team, I'm just happy and pleased."
There was a long delay before the final rounds after Mark Niver, a Top Alcohol Dragster driver, was fatally injured. "I know we can't go on without mentioning Mark Niver," said McClenathan. Mark was a great competitor. He built every component in his race car. I raced against Mark 20years ago in Alcohol Dragster. This has to be about him, it has to be about the family and what they're going through right now and not about us, because when it all comes down to it this whole circle of people you see traveling around, these are our family. They're the people we spend more time with than our own families at home. So, I'm blown away. You never know what to say."
Said crew chief Okuhara: "Cory Mac and the FRAM guys all did really good. It was so challenging with the conditions being so drastic here. It was pretty exciting. Going toe-to-toe with Antron and staying with him down the track was great. He's one of the best and Cory Mac is proving that he is right up there with those guys. He did a great job."
Next up is the 23rd annual FRAM-Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., July 16-18.