Atlanta: Cory McClenathan Friday qualifying summary

Henkelman & Baca Motorsports Rick Henkelman and David Baca -- Owners NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Top Fuel Dragster Cory McClenathan -- Driver Session ...

Henkelman & Baca Motorsports
Rick Henkelman and David Baca -- Owners
NHRA POWERade Drag Racing
Top Fuel Dragster
Cory McClenathan -- Driver

Session #1 Friday: 4.588 seconds at 324.90 mph (#1)
Session #2 Friday: Canceled

McClenathan holds provisional pole at Atlanta

COMMERCE, Ga. -- Cory McClenathan, driver of the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports Top Fuel Dragster, picked up where he left off the last time he competed at Atlanta Dragway -- #1. Although he didn't race in Atlanta last year due to lack of sponsorship and/or a ride, McClenathan was the #1 qualifier during his last visit in 2000.

Friday's qualifying for the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac, originally scheduled to get underway around the 3 o'clock hour, was delayed until the early evening hours due to rain and thunderstorms. McClenathan made the best of his one run for Friday as his pass of 4.588 seconds at 324.90 mph led all Top Fuel drivers. The speed was a career best for the Anaheim, Calif., driver and the elapsed time was the best of 2002 season for the team. McClenathan erased a speed of 323.27 mph that he set at the 1999 Topeka event.

"Not knowing what the weather was going to do the rest of the weekend, we decided that we needed to go all out in tonight one chance," said McClenathan, of the run that gave him the provisional pole. "It was great. My crew chief, Wes Cerny has this track figured out. The team did a great job of preparing the car.

"After watching the Funny Cars make some great passes, Wes said we were going to go after it. It was fun. I knew as soon as I stepped on it, it was going to be a good one. I had to pedal it once and that's all it took.

"Hopefully, it will hold up throughout Saturday. NHRA's Safety Safety has this track well prepared and it's fast. There are several cars here that are capable of running in the 50s (4.50 seconds), especially both beer cars. We just have to wait and see how it all shakes out after Saturday."

Two more qualifying sessions are scheduled for Saturday, weather permitting.

-h&bm-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers David Baca , Cory McClenathan