Charlotte II: Cory McClenathan preview

MCCLENATHAN LOOKS FOR THREE-PEAT IN CONCORD IN VALVOLINE/FRAM TOP FUEL DRAGSTER BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 14, 2010) - Cory McClenathan enters this weekend's third annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals, the second race of the six-event Countdown to the...

MCCLENATHAN LOOKS FOR THREE-PEAT IN CONCORD IN VALVOLINE/FRAM TOP FUEL DRAGSTER

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 14, 2010) - Cory McClenathan enters this weekend's third annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals, the second race of the six-event Countdown to the Championship playoffs of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, as a favorite to win.

He'll be racing the Valvoline/FRAM Top Fuel dragster, featuring Valvoline, one of Don Schumacher Racing's longtime supporters in NHRA competition.

"Valvoline is proud to be associated with Cory and the entire Don Schumacher Racing organization," said Rob Clendening, Manager, Global Brands, Ashland Consumer Markets. "We consistently win with them even before hitting the track, but we would also be thrilled to see Cory make up for his near-miss at Indy by winning at Concord." McClenathan had reached his second straight final round of the season (and seventh of 2010) at the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend but just missed winning his third title there, bowing out to points leader Larry Dixon.

The popular veteran, in his 20th season of Top Fuel competition, has already amassed three victories this year in seven final rounds, and has the distinction of being the winningest driver at zMAX Dragway. He won the inaugural event in 2009 and the four-wide event there in March. He was also No. 1 qualifier in March and holds both Top Fuel track records in Concord, set in March of this year: 3.790 seconds; 319.82 mph.

McClenathan is second in the point standings after one race in the Countdown, and is 46 markers behind Dixon. One stumble by Dixon could move McClenathan into first place. "Cory Mac" has never won an NHRA championship, having settled for runner-up finishes four times.

"Obviously, first and foremost our thoughts are on the Countdown and trying to continue the momentum we had in Indy," said McClenathan, who has 34 career wins in 64 final rounds. "I've been to the last couple of finals and both times we've been beat by Dixon.

"Dixon's car is running good and that's clearly on my mind. I think the Valvoline/FRAM boys will pick up where we left off and go right back at it. What better place to go to right now than to Concord where we've won the last two times? I feel pretty good about our chances.

"It's tough when you're considered a favorite. You'd like to do well again and bring it home for Valvoline, FRAM and DSR and leave the event in first place in points. That would be the ultimate goal.

"The Valvoline people are great to work with and I'm excited about running that car. It's great for FRAM to provide this opportunity to run the Valvoline colors. The longtime relationship Valvoline has had with Don Schumacher is one of the many good things that I get to enjoy as a member of DSR. And I get to race some interesting one-off cars to help promote the DSR sponsors.

"At the same time, it's the same race car but the body is going to have a different look. We still need to go in there and qualify well and go some rounds. We had a good start for the Countdown and we certainly would like to go into Concord, not falter, go some rounds and keep up that momentum. We're going to work hard at that."

-source: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac , Don Schumacher