Bristol: Cory McClenathan final report

MCCLENATHAN ADVANCES TO QUARTERFINALS ON A TOUGH DAY IN BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 17, 2009) - On a cloudy, cool and often gloomy day at Bristol Dragway, with temperatures barely in the 60s, No. 1 qualifier Cory McClenathan advanced the FRAM ...

MCCLENATHAN ADVANCES TO QUARTERFINALS ON A TOUGH DAY IN BRISTOL

BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 17, 2009) - On a cloudy, cool and often gloomy day at Bristol Dragway, with temperatures barely in the 60s, No. 1 qualifier Cory McClenathan advanced the FRAM Tough Guard Top Fuel dragster into the quarterfinal round before bowing out to Doug Kalitta.

McClenathan defeated Michael Gunderson in the opening stanza of eliminations at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, the eighth round of 24 in the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, with a solid 3.886-second pass at 286.01 mph, which ended in a fireball just before the finish line. With repairs made and having lane choice as an advantage, he then faced Kalitta in the second round. They were tight at the launch, but it was Kalitta's 3.900/305.36 pass that claimed the victory over McClenathan's less-than-perfect 3.956/261.32 when something broke on the car. "We don't know what that is yet, but we'll find out," he said.

McClenathan holds onto fourth place in the rankings.

"We made some mistakes today that we shouldn't have made," he admitted. "It's not one person's fault. The conditions were definitely tricky today. When it cools down this much you can hurt some stuff. And we had some silly things happen and now is the wrong time for that to happen.

"Right now we should be taking advantage of round-by-round points. Being No. 1 qualifier we knew we had the best car up until today when we saw some lower numbers. For whatever reason, we just couldn't take advantage of it. From the driver all the way back to every single guy who works on this car, we all need to dig down deep and fix everything.

"We're going to test here tomorrow and try some things out and we need to get a handle on this car.

"We have everything it takes to go round by round and win races; we just have to put it all out there and get it all put together at one time."

Next up is the NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan., May 29-31.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Michael Gunderson