Las Vegas II: Cory McClenathan preview

McCLENATHAN SET FOR STRONG VEGAS RUN BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Oct. 27, 2009) - Cory McClenathan is ready for a strong run this weekend at the ninth annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the penultimate event of the...

McCLENATHAN SET FOR STRONG VEGAS RUN

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Oct. 27, 2009) - Cory McClenathan is ready for a strong run this weekend at the ninth annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the penultimate event of the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

Third in the Countdown to 1 playoffs standings with two events remaining, the FRAM Tough Guard Top Fuel dragster driver is just 68 markers behind first-place Tony Schumacher and 21 back of second-place Larry Dixon. He is clearly still in the running in his bid to earn his first Top Fuel championship.

In this year's Countdown to 1 playoffs, points are awarded to the top three in each of the four qualifying sessions in a weekend (three, two, one points, respectively), in addition to the regular qualifying points earned. Twenty points are available for each eliminations round win. Also added in this year's playoffs is the opportunity to garner an additional 20 points for setting a national elapsed-time record racing to 1000 feet (with a one-percent backup).

"It's funny. You can be so close to winning a championship, but it can also feel so far away," said McClenathan, the 2008 Las Vegas1 titlist. "Three rounds of eliminations can feel like an eternity, but, at the same time, when one weekend goes your way it's a whole different story.

"We've had a lot of success in the past in Vegas before (including a runner-up finish in 2002), but so has my teammate Tony Schumacher. I cannot discount his success at this track at all.

"I still feel like our chances are good. We'll try to do the same thing we've always done: get in there, qualify well, and try to take the ladder one at a time on Sunday. We have to try to win every race we go to.

"It looks like there's a pretty large car count for Vegas, so there may be some spoilers out there who could take out some of the guys to help us in the points. If not, we're going to have to count on ourselves to do it.

"It's down to these last two races, so we'll have to make sure we make no mistakes and continue running as well as we have, if not better.

"It looks like the weather will cooperate, and the track is always good there. And I know (crew chiefs) Todd (Okuhara) and Phil (Shuler) have a good setup for the FRAM Tough Guard car."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Cory McClenathan