Gainesville: Cory McClenathan Saturday notes

MCCLENATHAN SECURES NO. 3 IN GATORS QUALIFYING GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2009) - Cory McClenathan wheeled the FRAM Top Fuel dragster into the No. 3 position in qualifying for the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway today,...

MCCLENATHAN SECURES NO. 3 IN GATORS QUALIFYING

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14, 2009) - Cory McClenathan wheeled the FRAM Top Fuel dragster into the No. 3 position in qualifying for the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway today, posting a strong 3.919-second pass at 308.50 mph in today's third qualifying round.

His other passes included a 4.419/182.90 (No. 7), a 3.930/309.63 (No. 3) and a 5.515/118.25 (No. 3). The 3.919/308.50 was good for second today until Spencer Massey bumped him down to third. Polesitter Larry Dixon also surprised everyone by besting his previous No. 1 run of 3.902/310.20 with a 3.886/308.28 in the final session.

"Cory Mac" and the FRAM team demonstrated the power of the brain trust that exists among the Don Schumacher Racing crew chiefs and team manager Lee Beard. He credited that asset for his improved performance.

"We were trying to push it in that last run," he said. "If you talk to (FRAM crew chiefs) Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler, they'll tell you they were trying to run a 3.88 along with Dixon. So, we now know what the right lane can handle or cannot handle. Having lane choice tomorrow is a big thing for us. Especially under the conditions we've seen here. They have been tricky.

"My hat's off to to Todd and Phil -- they do a great job - and to all the other DSR guys who helped earlier this week in testing at West Palm Beach. And that includes Beard, (Army crew chief) Mike Green, (assistant Army crew chief Neal Strasbaugh and Tom Turkal (on cylinder heads). It definitely has helped the whole program to turn around for us.

"It's nice to have that much brain power."

McClenathan faces Michael Gunderson in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac , Michael Gunderson , Don Schumacher , Spencer Massey