McClenathan Qualifies Third in First Day of Midwest Nationals; Prefers 440-yard Straight Line to Dirt Oval Competition MADISON, Ill., June 23, 2006 -- Cory McClenathan was happy to be at the controls of the Carrier Boyz FRAM Boost Top Fuel...
McClenathan Qualifies Third in First Day of Midwest Nationals; Prefers 440-yard Straight Line to Dirt Oval Competition
MADISON, Ill., June 23, 2006 -- Cory McClenathan was happy to be at the controls of the Carrier Boyz FRAM Boost Top Fuel dragster Friday night following his first experience driving modifieds on a half-mile dirt oval in Sedalia, Mo., on Wednesday.
And, to prove it, McClenathan went from 17th to third on the qualifying ladder in the second session of the O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis.
He barely got down the track in the opening run on a hot, slippery track, coasting through in 13.816 seconds at a "brisk" 68.13 mph. But he more than made up for that after nightfall on a racing surface more conducive to yielding quick elapsed times. He was timed in 4.614 seconds at 320.43 mph.
"That was a good run," he said. "We had to be careful because we wanted to make sure we got down the track and everything went well. Once again, Wes Cerny, our crew chief, and Tony Shortall, his assistant, did a good job tuning the car. We'll see what we can do on our last two runs Saturday."
McClenathan, in his first auto racing action on a dirt oval, did finish fourth in the IAMC Modified Celebrity Race at State Fair Speedway. He was one of five NHRA drivers who agreed to drive in the event on the half-mile dirt track.
"It was a lot of fun," McClenathan said. "Gary Scelzi, Ron Capps, Doug Kalitta and David Grubnic were the other drivers competing. We hung out at sprint car driver Danny Lasoski's house and had a great time, but I'm definitely going to keep my day job. I do have a newfound appreciation for what he and all the midget and sprint car drivers do on dirt, but I prefer 440 yards of straight asphalt."