CONSISTENCY IS MCCLENATHAN'S ASSET HEADING INTO TEXAS BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 17, 2008) -- As the Countdown to 1 playoffs enters the second event of six in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series this weekend at the 23rd annual NHRA Fall ...
CONSISTENCY IS MCCLENATHAN'S ASSET HEADING INTO TEXAS
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 17, 2008) -- As the Countdown to 1 playoffs enters the second event of six in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series this weekend at the 23rd annual NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex, Cory McClenathan is in an enviable position: He has a very consistent race car under him in the FRAM Top Fuel dragster.
The Kansas native comes to Texas fresh off another solid performance, reaching the semifinals for the sixth time this year at last weekend's Inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals in Concord, N.C., and moving up to No. 3 in the standings, just 85 points out of the top spot.
The most tenured driver in the Top Fuel class, with 17 years behind the wheel in the Top Fuel class, McClenathan has enjoyed success on the all-concrete racing surface at the Motorplex. He's been to four final rounds at the sport's first "supertrack" (opened in 1986), scoring wins in 2000 and 1997 and runner-up finishes in 2002 and 1994. He also made NHRA history there in 1997 by becoming the first driver to run over 320 mph (321.77). He also qualified No. 1 there in1994 and 1997.
"We've had some success there," said McClenathan, who has finished No. 2 in championship points battles four times in his career (1992. 1995, 1997, 1998). "I've been to the finals a few times and won some races at the Motorplex and was the first driver to go over 320 mph, so I've had a lot of good races there in the past. I'm hoping the future races are going to go just as well."
With all of the above notched in his career, McClenathan is eager to continue his march toward his first Top Fuel championship. But he also knows a tough road lies ahead as the races wind down in the last five events of the Countdown, beginning this weekend.
"We really feel great," said McClenathan. "When you get on a roll like we did last weekend, starting out the Countdown by going to the semis and coming out third in the points, I feel like the FRAM dragster is just a win waiting to happen. If you can be as consistent as we are you're going to make it to the winner's circle, and right now would be a fantastic time to see this FRAM Top Fuel dragster do that.
"We're just going to go into Texas with the same mind set we've had all year: get qualified Friday afternoon, make a good run Friday night to get near the top of the pack, and try to let our car speak for itself on Sunday. Right now I feel like we're in a great position."