FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 WIN STREAK HELPS McCLENATHAN BECOME BIG FACTOR IN TOP FUEL RACE CLERMONT, Ind. -- The first win caused barely a ripple in the pits. After all, Cory McClenathan was a...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761
WIN STREAK HELPS McCLENATHAN BECOME BIG FACTOR IN TOP FUEL RACE
CLERMONT, Ind. -- The first win caused barely a ripple in the pits. After all, Cory McClenathan was a distant third in the NHRA Winston Top Fuel point standings after winning the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals in mid-July at Denver. But as he won his second, third and fourth consecutive races in the McDonald's Dragster, Cory McClenathan sent a clear message to points leader Gary Scelzi: I'm coming after you. McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif., tied an NHRA Top Fuel record with his fourth consecutive victory by winning the Champion Auto Stores Nationals earlier this month. He pulled to within 192 points of leader Scelzi and is just four points behind second-place Joe Amato. "I like being the chaser rather than the chased," McClenathan said. "Gary is in a fantastic position right now in the standings, but there's still plenty of time left. We're confident that we can catch him." The pursuit of Scelzi and NHRA history will continue for McClenathan at the 43rd annual, $2,458,000 U.S. Nationals, Aug. 27-Sept. 1 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The race is the 16th event in the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. McClenathan could win his second straight U.S. Nationals title and become the first NHRA Top Fuel driver to win five consecutive races. Scott Kalitta also won four straight in 1994. The roots of the streak were planted in late June in St. Louis. The McDonald's team found a clutch gremlin in their old car and made the necessary changes to the new chassis that debuted in mid-July at Denver. That car has a spotless record of 16-0. "Don't tell the car that," McClenathan said. "When you're on a roll and feeling good, you don't want it to stop. You're anxious to get the car to the next track."