Eight races in nine weeks, including six in a row? Bring them on, says Cory McClenathan. "I'm ready for them," said the veteran Top Fuel driver of the grueling NHRA POWERade Series schedule that begins with the O'Reilly Summer...
Eight races in nine weeks, including six in a row?
Bring them on, says Cory McClenathan.
"I'm ready for them," said the veteran Top Fuel driver of the grueling NHRA POWERade Series schedule that begins with the O'Reilly Summer Nationals, Friday through Sunday, at Heartland Park Topeka. "I'm looking forward to the race. I think our team will be up to the challenge.
"We are getting into the warmer part of the season and that's where Wes Cerny and Tony Shortall (team crew chief and assistant crew chief, respectively) shine with their warm-weather tune-ups."
McClenathan is in good position to climb into one of the coveted top eight places in the new Countdown to Eight portion of the championship chase. His runner-up finish at St. Louis (May 6) put him 10th with 336 points in the congested field. He is, however, two rounds (40 points) out of sixth and three rounds out of fourth. After 17 events, the top eight will continue their hunt for the top trophy. The contenders drop to four after 21 of the 23 events, leaving the final quartet to vie for No. 1.
"I could've done better in St. Louis," Cory Mac recalled, "I got one tire out of the groove, which was very narrow, and smoked the tires. If it wasn't for that, I probably would've won ther ace and added another 20 points which are so valuable in our new point system..because the car got out of the groove in the final against Melanie Troxel and that probably cost us the win. But I think we are in a good position to make a move up the points ladder.
"I know those six races in a row will be hard on the guys, but I can drive smarter to try and conserve parts and Wes and Tony can make some tuning adjustments, too. We'll just see how it goes."
Two of McClenathan's 29 career victories have come at Heartland Park (1994, 1998), and he was runner-up in 1993. He earned his first of four top qualifying positions at HPT in1992. His last came in 2004. He is in his 16th full season of Top Fuel racing.
But, McClenathan admits, he is exasperated with the on-going transition of team ownership from Mark and Andy Carrier to Scott Griffin.
"It has been a month since Mark and Andy sold the team to Scott," said McClenathan, "and with this also brings uncertainty between the driver, the crew and the sponsors, which are so very important to us.
"I want to go all out and try to win as many rounds and races we can so we can show our sponsors how grateful we are and that we appreciate all they do for us. So to FRAM, Torco Racing Fuels JEGS, GMC, Mac Tools, Lucas Oil and Lucas Cycles, Nordic Boats and Seelye-Wright Automotive Group, we salute you."