Denver: Cory McClenathan Friday notes

MCCLENATHAN GRABS PROVISIONAL DENVER POLE MORRISON, Colo. (July 10, 2009) - Cory McClenathan drove the FRAM Tough Guard Top Fuel dragster to the provisional pole position on Friday for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway,...

MCCLENATHAN GRABS PROVISIONAL DENVER POLE

MORRISON, Colo. (July 10, 2009) - Cory McClenathan drove the FRAM Tough Guard Top Fuel dragster to the provisional pole position on Friday for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, recording a 3.882-second lap at 317.05 mph in the second session, completed after midnight.

McClenathan was one of six drivers who were left waiting to run the first session before a 3.5-hour rain delay. Once the rain stopped and the track cleared, he posted a 4.002-second lap at 294.24 mph, good for No. 4 at the time.

Two more rounds of qualifying will be held on Saturday to determine the 16-car field for Sunday's eliminations.

If he holds on as low qualifier, he'll have scored his second No. 1 of the season, the 34th of his career, and his second consecutive at Denver.

"You always wonder how you're going to run on the hill when you come up here to Denver," said McClenathan. "They do such a great job preparing this race track, and with the cooling system (under the first 120 feet of the track) we know we can get after the car early, but you have to be a little careful as you make that transition. And one of those things that (crew chiefs) Phil (Shuler) and Todd (Okuhara) both said, 'We're going to get after this. We know we have a late session tomorrow too so we're going to try to go for No. 1 spot.'

"I can't say I'm totally surprised because I think that we've been kind of creeping up on that area for a long time. We're trying some new stuff on the race car . It's definitely coming around and it's showing that when we make a change it does change the car and its mannerisms.

"Fantastic. Half -track speed 276 (mph) on the hill. I never would have thought that. That was incredible, but to run 317 (mph) here (at the finish), that's pretty darned stout."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan