TWO-TIME U.S. NATIONALS CHAMP MCCLENATHAN EAGER TO BEGIN PLAYOFFS BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Aug. 31, 2010) - Cory McClenathan couldn't be in a better position heading into this weekend's prestigious 56th annual U.S. Nationals and the start of the ...
TWO-TIME U.S. NATIONALS CHAMP MCCLENATHAN EAGER TO BEGIN PLAYOFFS
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Aug. 31, 2010) - Cory McClenathan couldn't be in a better position heading into this weekend's prestigious 56th annual U.S. Nationals and the start of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs unless he was in the lead. He's second in the point standings, is a two-time U.S. Nationals champion (1996, 1999), and is fresh off a hugely successful test session at O'Reilly Raceway Park last week. Driving the FRAM Top Fuel dragster, "Cory Mac" ran quicker than both ends of the track record (3.790 seconds at 324.28 mph) during the NHRA open test session at the same track on which the U.S. Nationals will be held this weekend.
It will also be a hometown event for the 20-year veteran who is seeking his first NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel crown after four career runner-up finishes. He makes his home in Fishers, Ind., just a stone's throw from Clermont, Ind., site of the U.S. Nationals.
"I'm really excited to be racing in the Indianapolis area, where also Don Schumacher Racing is based (in Brownsburg, Ind.)," said McClenathan, who has earned three national event wins this year in six final rounds. "I'm also excited to be starting the Countdown in second spot, especially after we had such a great test session. It's a prime opportunity to get out there and try to keep pace with not only (points leader) Larry Dixon but my teammates Tony Schumacher (third in points) and Antron Brown (fifth in points). It's time to go toe-to-toe. It's going to be GO time for the final six races.
"Starting the Countdown off in Indy is something we're not used to," added McClenathan. "We have a lot on our plate this week in advance of this first race of the playoffs, with the Riley Hospital visit on Wednesday, the Full Throttle appearance on Thursday, and the DSR Open House on Friday. The Open House also benefits Riley Hospital for Children, so there are a lot of good things happening this week, which we are privileged to be a part of.
"At the same time, our first qualifying session on Friday night is not far away. It's on my mind and I want to make sure we get out there with that FRAM Top Fuel dragster and do well this weekend.
"It would be huge to win this event and try to make a statement. We need to go into the rest of the playoffs with some momentum and nobody has more momentum than Larry Dixon right now. He's won Indy three times, we've won it twice and Tony's won it eight times. And there's a lot of talented drivers in the top 10 who are going for the championship this year. I think our chances are great right now and I feel good about it.
"The better we can do this weekend and the more momentum we carry into the Countdown the better. It's going to start with qualifying. We're going to take it one step at a time. Right now, my eyes are on the prize."