St. Louis: Cory McCleanthan final summary

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."

-credit: cbr/sgr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Melanie Troxel , Cory Mac , Rod Fuller , Hillary Will