MCCLENATHAN QUALIFIES NO. 12 WITH CONSISTENCY IN BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 17, 2008) -- Whenever Cory McClenathan, driver of the FRAM Top Fuel dragster for Don Schumacher Racing, is able to make four steady qualifying runs, he usually has a...
MCCLENATHAN QUALIFIES NO. 12 WITH CONSISTENCY IN BRISTOL
BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 17, 2008) -- Whenever Cory McClenathan, driver of the FRAM Top Fuel dragster for Don Schumacher Racing, is able to make four steady qualifying runs, he usually has a good day during Sunday's eliminations. The 17-year Top Fuel veteran made four consistent passes this weekend to qualify solidly in No. 12 for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, the eighth stop on the 24-race POWERade Drag Racing Series tour.
McClenathan didn't burn down the barn, but he posted four strong consecutive laps within .055-of-a-second: 4.660/309.84 (No. 9), 4.619/312.50 (No. 10), his quickest of 4.605/317.72 (No. 12), and finally a 4.617/308.71 under varying conditions during all runs, which went from cool and windy on Friday to clear and mild on Saturday.
"We're really happy with a consistent race car," said McClenathan, "but there have been some guys who have just run better out here. I think (crew chief) Mike Green is scratching his head a little bit. We should be in that 4.50-range somewhere and we're not there now.
"We've learned as we've gone along during the weekend and I think we have a little bit better package for race day than we had before. Even though the conditions changed today and it was warmer, the FRAM car was still able to run the same numbers. That's a good thing. Tomorrow it's supposed to be a little cooler so that will change things. But I'm very confident when I have a race car that's been running the kind of consistent numbers that this car has been. We don't have lane choice in the first round, so it will be interesting. Hopefully we won't make any mistakes, and maybe we can make the FRAM car go a little quicker."
McClenathan will face Hillary Will in round one of Sunday's eliminations, which begin at noon.
Following qualifying McClenathan sped over to the NHRA Circle Track Challenge, part of Saturday evening's "Saturday Spectacular" on Bristol Motor Speedway's half-mile oval. A group of NHRA drivers will borrow street stock cars - basic late model passenger cars with roll cages - to drive the first half of the race, then turn them back to the cars' regular street stock drivers to complete the event. The NHRA driver finishing first in the opening segment will receive a "half-way" trophy, but the champions of the event will be both drivers of the car that completes the 25 laps first.