McCLENATHAN EYES STRONG RUN AT SPONSOR'S RACE SONOMA, Calif. (July 15, 2010) - Fresh from his victory last Sunday in Seattle, the first race of the three that make up the Western Swing (Seattle, Sonoma, Denver) of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle...
McCLENATHAN EYES STRONG RUN AT SPONSOR'S RACE
SONOMA, Calif. (July 15, 2010) - Fresh from his victory last Sunday in Seattle, the first race of the three that make up the Western Swing (Seattle, Sonoma, Denver) of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Cory McClenathan is aiming for a strong performance at this weekend's FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals in Sonoma, Calif.
Driving the FRAM Top Fuel dragster for Don Schumacher Racing, McClenathan is cautiously optimistic about becoming the first NHRA driver to sweep the Swing twice. He accomplished that feat in 1997, the last time he’s won in Sonoma in his 34 career national-event triumphs. He was, however, runner-up last year to Antron Brown, who swept the Swing that year.
"We just want to do well," said McClenathan, who is seeking his first Top Fuel championship in 20 years of competing in the class. "This is FRAM's race. If I was able to pick one to win during the year, this would be it. It would be huge to win my sponsor's race. That’s always something every driver dreams about doing. It would be perfect for us.
"Obviously, if we were to win it it would put us in a position to sweep the Swing at this point. We've done very well so far. This FRAM car has been running good, the guys have done a great job and I feel good behind the wheel.
"Yeah, we have a little bit of a leg up on it, but I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch. We'll go in there with the same attitude as always: get qualified well, run well in the Friday evening session and go into eliminations on Sunday with the goal of 'Let's take it one run at a time.’ That's how (crew chiefs) Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler will look at it and that's how I look at it."
With his win in Seattle, McClenathan moved into second place in the point standings, behind Larry Dixon and ahead of his DSR teammate Tony Schumacher. "We're right there with our teammate Tony now and in second place behind Dixon,” he said. “I think it will be awfully tough to catch Dixon in the points before the Countdown. It's probably not going to happen. But when you're able to gain some ground you get into people's heads. They figure that the guy can run, he can beat us, so we have to race him hard."
The Countdown to 1 playoffs for the top 10 in points begin at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend for the six final events of the year.