Sonoma: Cory McClenathan preview

Cory Mac Needs Round Wins Going Into FRAM Autolite Nationals The next three races are very important for Cory McClenathan and the Scott Griffin Motorsports FRAM Top Fuel team as they jockey for one of the coveted eight positions in NHRA's ...

Cory Mac Needs Round Wins Going Into FRAM Autolite Nationals

The next three races are very important for Cory McClenathan and the Scott Griffin Motorsports FRAM Top Fuel team as they jockey for one of the coveted eight positions in NHRA's first Countdown to the Championship format.

McClenathan sits just outside the magic number in 10th place, three round wins away from extending his title hopes. He has 602 points and eighth-place David Grubnic has 672. Twelve elimination rounds remain.

"We need to get after it and win multiple rounds in the next three races to have a shot at getting into the Countdown," McClenathan said, "and I can't think of a better place to get on a roll than Infineon Raceway."

That's where the FRAM team will be this weekend, racing for points in a very important event -- the FRAM Autolite Nationals.

"That just boosts our incentive to win even more," said McClenathan. "This is one race everyone on our team looks forward to. It also is one of our most important races. Any driver out there whose sponsor also sponsors a race will tell you there is more pressure to win those races . . . and that's what we'd like to do.

"Now, added to the Countdown system and where we stand in points, this race becomes extremely important. We've said since the beginning of the season that it is critical to win rounds at every race if you want to be in the top eight going into the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, but we haven't been able to find the consistency to do that yet. If we are consistent and go rounds in the next three races, we should be able to move up and get in there."

McClenathan was disappointed the team wasn't able to go rounds Sunday at Seattle. Wet weather washed out three of the four qualifying runs but he started 11th with a time of 4.729 seconds on that lone attempt.

"At that point, we were just happy to be in the starting line-up," added McClenathan. "But we weren't able to take advantage of it Sunday. Wes and Tony (Cerny and Shortall, crew chief and assistant crew chief, respectively) missed the first-round tune-up and we had traction problems.

"We have to do well at FRAM's race, no if ands or buts about it. A lot of teams are going to be throwing down the gauntlet there and we want to be one of them.

-credit: sgr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac