Topeka: Cory McClenathan Saturday notes

MCCLENATHAN EARNS NO. 2 IN SUMMER NATIONALS QUALIFYING TOPEKA, Kan. (May 31, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan enjoyed his second-best qualifying effort of the season (his best was a No. 1 in Atlanta) at the NHRA Summer ...

MCCLENATHAN EARNS NO. 2 IN SUMMER NATIONALS QUALIFYING

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 31, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan enjoyed his second-best qualifying effort of the season (his best was a No. 1 in Atlanta) at the NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. He qualified No. 2 on the strength of his second run on Friday, marking the sixth time in nine races this season that he's qualified the Don Schumacher Racing entry in the top half of the field.

McClenathan began qualifying under mostly hot and humid Midwest conditions with a run of 4.656 seconds at 300.33 mph to grab the No. 4 spot. He then improved with a 4.565/323.04 to move up to No. 2. The Kansas native (born in Wichita) recorded a 5.165/188.83 on his third pass, followed by a 4.666/303.78, the third quickest of the final session, and remained No. 2.

"I think (crew chief) Mike Green and all of the guys have done a great job," said McClenathan, who entered the event sixth in the Top Fuel point standings. "We changed a couple of things coming into this race, mostly in the fuel system area, and I think it actually made the FRAM dragster come back to life. It seems like we're just putting Valvoline in it and putting the Matco Tools to it and we go up there and it keeps repeating.

"In the heat like this you're going to have to run a low to mid-4.60 on race day to be able to keep on winning rounds. I think the FRAM dragster can do that and it can do it consistently.

"The team has been doing a great job. Neal Strausbaugh (assistant crew chief) and the rest of the guys on the crew just keep on doing everything they can and Mike Green just keeps on tuning it, along with all the help from the U.S Army car (of Tony Schumacher) and all the guys over there. We're in a position that we can't beat ourselves and we're going to be tough to beat on race day.

"Those precious points mean all they can now and we never take our first round opponent lightly. We have a potential race with our teammate Tony Schumacher in the second round, so it could be an interesting day tomorrow. We'll see how it shakes out."

McClenathan faces Bob Vandergriff in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan , Bob Vandergriff , Don Schumacher