Joliet II: Cory McClenathan preview

McClenathan thoughts on winning and points. JOLIET, Ill. -- When Cory McClenathan takes to the Route 66 Raceway quarter-mile today for the 2nd annual NHRA Craftsman 75th Anniversary Nationals presented by Racing Champions, his thoughts will be...

McClenathan thoughts on winning and points.

JOLIET, Ill. -- When Cory McClenathan takes to the Route 66 Raceway quarter-mile today for the 2nd annual NHRA Craftsman 75th Anniversary Nationals presented by Racing Champions, his thoughts will be on winning and points.

This will be McClenathan's first visit to the fall event at the Chicago area track. The Anaheim, Calif., driver of the Henkelman & Baca Centennial Batteries Top Fuel Dragster has not done well at this track. In the spring race at Route 66 Raceway, McClenathan has only advanced past the first-round once in four tries, moving to the quarterfinals in 2000, the same year he was #1 qualifier.

"We need to get ourselves turned around here this weekend," said McClenathan. "We need a win here to pick up some points on third and we need to distance ourselves from those drivers behind us in the POWERade point standings."

McClenathan currently holds fourth position in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series point battle with 1122 points. He continues to hold a precarious and small lead over Darrell Russell in fifth and Doug Kalitta in sixth. Although he was able to pick up a few points on both drivers at last weekend's race in Memphis, he leads Russell by only 18 points and Kalitta by 37 points entering this weekend's event.

Ahead of him in the standings is Tony Schumacher (with 1238 points) in third, Kenny Bernstein (with 1581 points) in second and Larry Dixon (with 1685 points) leading the pack. He trails Schumacher by 116 points and then there is a big gap between him and the top two.

"The top two position are out of the question, at least it looks like it right now, but it's realist to say we have an opportunity to finish this season out in third place in the points. To do that we're going to have to have both luck and be able to take advantage of every situation to gain some points back. There are still four races left and we must begin our push here.

"We're going to continue to be aggressive with our tune-up. (Crew chief, Wes) Cerny will only tune it down when track conditions dictate. It looks like it's going to be cool this weekend, especially tonight, so lookout for some big numbers," said McClenathan.

-h&bm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan