MCCLENATHAN HANGS ON TO NO. 1 IN E'TOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 12, 2010) - Cory McClenathan held on to No. 1 through two more qualifying rounds today at the 41st annual NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., as no other team bettered ...
MCCLENATHAN HANGS ON TO NO. 1 IN E'TOWN
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 12, 2010) - Cory McClenathan held on to No. 1 through two more qualifying rounds today at the 41st annual NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., as no other team bettered his track-record-setting 3.752-second pass at 324.75 mph he established on Friday under hotter conditions.
The driver of the FRAM Top Fuel Dragster collected his fourth No. 1 of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, the 37th of his career, and the first at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. The elapsed time was the quickest in NHRA history racing to 1000 feet, and the speed was the second fastest. He needs to run a 3.789-second lap on Sunday to back it up for a national record and earn 20 bonus points.
His earlier run today in the third qualifying round produced a 3.815/318.54, while his final try clocked in at 3.988/235.27.
"We know it would be hot out there," said McClenathan, who has never won in Englishtown. "We just had to back it down. We couldn't really go for the record this morning, but to go out there and run the .81 this morning [was great]. It was going to repeat that just now, if it hadn't knocked the burst panel out of it down there. We're pushing these cars so hard we need to replace even the little parts that make a difference, and that's just one of those things.
"Other than that, it was right on line to run another 3.81, 3.82, and I'm fine with it; that's perfect. Tomorrow we have a bye run. If the weather is right you're going to see us try to go for the record."
As for points leader Larry Dixon being quickest of the two sessions today, "I expected him to be that good," said McClenathan. "They run right there with us and we need to run right with them all the time; run those .80s and .81s .
"Last night we threw the trailer at it, that's all there was to it, and it stuck. And I think you saw that [with the cars] behind us; everybody was going for it. I expect to go toe-to-toe tomorrow that way with Tony (Schumacher) and Larry. And (DSR teammate) Antron (Brown) is kind of creeping back up on it. And Brandon (Bernstein) has got a good car again.
"There's a lot more parity in the field these days. There's a lot of cars that can go out there and win. There's not just four good cars out there. We're seeing six, seven, eight good cars. If you make the field, anybody can beat you, so you'd better not take anybody lightly."
McClenathan earned five bonus qualifying points for his efforts and has a bye run in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.