MCCLENATHAN READY TO HIT HIS STRIDE IN BRAINERD AS COUNTDOWN NEARS INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 4, 2008) -- With only three races remaining until the Countdown to the Championship kicks in for the top 10 racers in points in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing...
MCCLENATHAN READY TO HIT HIS STRIDE IN BRAINERD AS COUNTDOWN NEARS
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 4, 2008) -- With only three races remaining until the Countdown to the Championship kicks in for the top 10 racers in points in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series following the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis, the pressure is mounting. As the pro teams prepare for their run to glory, FRAM Top Fuel dragster pilot Cory McClenathan holds a solid spot in the rankings entering this weekend's 27th annual NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn. He's No. 5 and looks to secure his hold with a strong showing.
"I feel pretty good going into this weekend's race," said McClenathan, the 1997 Brainerd champion, who only needs to qualify No. 12 or better to clinch a place in the Countdown. "I think the FRAM team was looking to have a better Western Swing (back-to-back-to-back races in Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.). Our Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher swept the three races, making himself just one of four Top Fuel drivers who have done it. (Joe Amato, Larry Dixon and McClenathan are the other three.) It was really a good thing for their team. They have the dominant car out there right now.
"We looked back at the Western Swing with the knowledge that we went past the first round at every race, we held our own in the points and maintained No. 5. We're just a few markers out of No. 4 and hopefully we can go to Brainerd and capitalize on this. We need the right people to go out in the first round and we need to win a few rounds on race day. That's really how I see it right now.
"I look forward to this part of the season. I'm geared back up to go on the road," added McClenathan, who recently returned from a vacation in Mexico. "The real challenge is going to come at the U.S. Nationals; we all know that. When the points get close there, you'd better be on your game. But I feel pretty good going into Brainerd and the rest of the season."