ENNIS, Texas (October 6, 2005) -- Since joining the Top Fuel ranks in 1991, Cory McClenathan, who drives the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM AirHog Top Fuel dragster, seeks his fourth win at the 20th anniversary edition of the NHRA O'Reilly Fall...
ENNIS, Texas (October 6, 2005) -- Since joining the Top Fuel ranks in 1991, Cory McClenathan, who drives the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM AirHog Top Fuel dragster, seeks his fourth win at the 20th anniversary edition of the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec when qualifying for the professional classes gets underway on Friday at the Texas Motorplex.
McClenathan has three wins in five final rounds on the all-concrete Texas Motorplex quarter-mile track, just outside Dallas, near Ennis, Texas. He won here in 1996, 1997 and 2000. He finished in the runner-up position in 1994 and 2002.
"For whatever the reasons, I've always done well at the Motorplex," said McClenathan. "Maybe it's the concrete track. Maybe it's because it's consistently quick and fast. Whatever the reason, I would like to get number four this weekend.
"I'm still looking for my first win of the season and there are only three races left to do that. I love this track and hope that my first win with FRAM comes here."
Entering this weekend's O'Reilly Fall Nationals, McClenathan, from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is ninth in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. He has 999 points, just 8 points behind eighth.
During qualifying, McClenathan is also looking to clinch a spot in the Budweiser Shootout, a special event held on Sat., Oct. 22, during the NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,
Currently McClenathan is locked in a three-way battle with David Grubnic and Scott Kalitta for positions six through eight. McClenathan, who is No. 6 with 2960 points, leads both Grubnic and Kalitta by 60 points entering the final event at which they can earn points for the Shootout.
Only the top seven point earners are guaranteed a spot in the eight-car Shootout field. The eighth position will be determined by a lottery-style drawing from the eighth through 15th qualifiers.
Points for the Budweiser Shootout are awarded based on how a driver qualifies: No. 1 qualifier earns 175 points, No. 2 earns 165 points, No. 3 earns 155 points, and No. 4 earns 145 points. Points then decrease by five points for qualifying positions five through 16 (with No. 5 earning 140 points down to No. 16 earning 85 points). So every point is important.
"We want to first be guaranteed a spot in the Budweiser Shootout, so we have to qualify high this weekend. After that we want to go to Vegas, do well and take home $100,000 of Budweiser's money," said McClenathan.
Anheuser-Busch provides an overall purse of $239,000 for the popular Budweiser Shootout program in 2005. The Shootout will feature a race-day purse of $147,000, with $100,000 going to the winner. The runner-up will earn $15,000. The two semifinalists will earn $6,000 each and the four first-round finishers $5,000 apiece.
McClenathan has appeared in 12 previous Budweiser Shootouts.
QUALIFYING: Qualifying for the 20th running of the O'Reilly Fall Nationals begins for McClenathan and the Carrier Boyz Racing FRAM AirHog Dragster on Friday at the Texas Motorplex with two nitro fuel sessions scheduled for 5 and 7:30 p.m. Nitro fuel qualifying concludes with two additional sessions on Saturday, at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. McClenathan begins his quest for the Top Fuel title on Sunday with eliminations for all classes getting underway at 11 a.m. Times are local Dallas time -- Central Time (CT) -- 1 hour behind Eastern Time (ET) -- and subject to change at anytime.