St. Louis: Cory McClenathan preview

MCCLENATHAN ROLLS INTO ST. LOUIS WITH PLENTY OF MOMENTUM INDIANAPOLIS (April 30, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan will roll into Gateway International Raceway for the NHRA Midwest Nationals this weekend carrying plenty of...

MCCLENATHAN ROLLS INTO ST. LOUIS WITH PLENTY OF MOMENTUM

INDIANAPOLIS (April 30, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan will roll into Gateway International Raceway for the NHRA Midwest Nationals this weekend carrying plenty of momentum. McClenathan enters the seventh event of the 24-race 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series fourth in the point standings with one of the most consistent race cars on the NHRA tour.

McClenathan made his only final-round appearance of last season at Gateway, in Madison, Ill., just over the bridge from St. Louis. He lost to Melanie Troxel, but a lot has changed since he last visited this track.

"Obviously, last we year we had some success and did well there," said McClenathan, who joined Don Schumacher Racing this season. "I got beat in the final, but I thought we had the best car there pretty much all race day. But, at this point in time, it's a whole different place, a whole different car, a different crew chief, a different crew, everything. I'm much more comfortable now than I was last year."

McClenathan qualified No. 1 at last weekend's race in Atlanta, his first top spot of the season and 30th of his career. He advanced to the quarterfinals for the second time this season, but lost on a holeshot advantage to eventual race winner Antron Brown.

"I'm looking forward to St. Louis," he said. "Weather-wise it's right up our alley right now with Mike Green's tune-up and I look forward to getting there and qualifying and trying to redeem myself a little bit from last weekend. Although Antron went on to win, any way you look at it, they're compiling points and we need to step up and go some rounds. I'm hoping we can go to St. Louis and go a few rounds past him and some of the other drivers who are ahead of us in the points and start making a run for this championship.

"Sometimes, week after week, when you have a few days to think about it, it's better to get right back in the race car. And that's how I'm looking at it right now," McClenathan added. "If we win some races I'll be more than thankful, but, at the same time, going rounds has won championships in the past; not necessarily always winning races. That's our mentality and I'm thinking about it that way.

"There are so many good cars out there that you're not going to win a whole bunch of races; I just don't see it happening. I think we have as good a car as anybody and after you get beat on a holeshot you're looking to go back and do well. I'm looking forward to getting in there and getting qualified and hopefully going some rounds on Sunday. I think that is what is going to separate the top five from the rest of the pack. As long as we continue to do that I'm very excited about it."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Cory McClenathan , Melanie Troxel , Don Schumacher