MCCLENATHAN GOES TO FOURTH SEMIFINAL ROUND OF YEAR IN NORWALK NORWALK, Ohio (June 27, 2010) - Cory McClenathan drove the FRAM Top Fuel dragster into his fourth semifinal round of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series today, dismissing...
MCCLENATHAN GOES TO FOURTH SEMIFINAL ROUND OF YEAR IN NORWALK
NORWALK, Ohio (June 27, 2010) - Cory McClenathan drove the FRAM Top Fuel dragster into his fourth semifinal round of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series today, dismissing two top championship contenders on his path.
He disposed of Doug Kalitta in the opening round with a 4.019-second elapsed time at 296.96 mph as ambient temperatures rose to nearly 90 degrees and the track surface heated up to 128 degrees. He then sent home Brandon Bernstein with a 3.953/302.48 without lane choice. He met his match in the semifinal round against his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Antron Brown. Again without the luxury of having lane choice, McClenathan struck the tires early as Brown advanced. Brown, too, lost traction, but Cory Mac's pedaling attempt to surpass him fell short, as Brown crossed the finish stripe first with a 4.863/219.36 to McClenathan's 7.884/101.01.
"It was a tough situation," he said, "but you never give up. You just keep pedaling the car until you really know that it's too late and you're not going to catch him. I saw Antron get in trouble so I figured we'd just go ahead and keep pedaling and try to get it down the track.
"It's funny because there's not much of a throttle on these cars so you're trying to just barely squeeze it, let it calm down, and then get it going again. It just wouldn't react. Every time I did it, it just kept smoking the tires. Once I saw that we weren't going to be able to catch him I shut it off. You just never give up. That's the whole thing: never lift on Sunday.
"We've been going to the semis a lot, and it would've been nice to get to a final round here, especially since we've had four races in a row," added McClenathan, who holds on to third in the class point standings and had clinched a spot in the Countdown to 1 playoffs when he ran the first qualifying session on Friday. "The FRAM guys have really been working hard, everybody's tired, everybody needs to go home and spend some time with their families.
"I'm proud of my guys. It'll be nice to have a week off and relax a little, bit then it'll be time for the Western Swing (three in a row in Seattle, Sonoma, Calif., and Denver), and that's the one I really want!"
Next up is the 23rd NHRA Northwest Nationals in Kent, Wash., July 9-11.