McClenathan Pleased with Runner-up Finish at St. Louis For three rounds Sunday at Gateway International Raceway, it looked like Cory McClenathan was on his way to his first career win here in the Midwest Nationals. If so, it would put a...
McClenathan Pleased with Runner-up Finish at St. Louis
For three rounds Sunday at Gateway International Raceway, it looked like Cory McClenathan was on his way to his first career win here in the Midwest Nationals. If so, it would put a perfect end to a weekend of uncertainty that began with the announcement Mark and Andy Carrier were selling the FRAM Top Fuel team.
But the goal went up in smoke, literally, in the title round when the car's tires lost traction and started smoking against Melanie Troxel. The runner-up did move McClenathan back into the solid contention for one of the top eight berths in NHRA POWERade Series points. He is 10th with 336 and is within 35 points of sixth place.
McClenathan qualified fourth and crew chief Wes Cerny and assistant crew chief Tony Shortall provided a car that was consistent enough to win the first three rounds. The orange and black dragster ran 4.648 seconds at 319.14 mph to beat Hillary Will in the opening round, and Cory Mac came back with a 4.625 at 322.81 to send home David Grubnic.
A bit of luck came McClenathan's way in the semifinals when he out-coasted Rod Fuller to the finish line. Both cars had traction problems and their engines quit running. The Fram dragster made it in 8.104 seconds at 131.66 mph to Fuller's 8.541 at 198.23.
McClenathan left Troxel at the starting line -- .075 to .094 -- but that advantage went away when the tires lost traction. Troxel got the victory in 4.741 seconds, 274.33 to 5.355 at 254.52.
"With the weekend like this, with the uncertainty, I think the guys did a great job," said McClenathan. "It's really hard for them to concentrate on what they are doing when they don't know what's going to happen -- and as well for me and Wes and Tony.
"I want to thank Mark and Andy and their whole family. They are very good people, and I appreciate all they have done for me. I wish them the best in what they do, but I am a drag racer through and through. This is what I do and I'll continue to do that, one way or the other.
"I just want the best of things happen for everyone concerned. If Scott Griffin owns the car, that's great. I want to make sure all my sponsors are taken care of and try to keep the team intact, and keep on rolling.
"This car showed this weekend that we can go out and win rounds and drag races. Now we are positioned in the point chase we need to keep it consistent and going down the track. Everybody is working hard for that."