Norwalk: Cory McClenathan preview

Cory Mac: Consistency, Round Wins Very Important at Norwalk The last time Cory McClenathan visited Norwalk Raceway Park he drove into the finals of an IHRA two years ago. This time around, he joins the regular NHRA POWERade Series...

Cory Mac: Consistency, Round Wins Very Important at Norwalk

The last time  Cory McClenathan visited Norwalk Raceway Park he drove into
the finals of an  IHRA two years ago.
This time around, he joins the regular  NHRA POWERade Series contingent in
returning to Norwalk -- renamed Summit Racing  Equipment Raceway Park following a
major renovation and sanctioning body change  -- for the inaugural Summit
Racing Equipment Nationals, Friday through  Sunday.

"I know they've done a lot of work to the facility since the last time I was there. We are looking forward to racing there again and getting the win this time," said McClenathan, veteran driver of the Scott Griffin Motorsports FRAM Top Fuel dragster. "A lot of teams are going into the event with no runs on the track and no data, but we are fortunate because we have data from 2005."

Another visit to the finals here would help  McClenathan's bid for a berth in
the top eight portion of the new Countdown to  the Championship format.
This is the 11th of 17 events that decide  the fate of the title contenders. The
elite eight move to races 18-21 before the  field is narrowed to the top four
to settle the championship in the last two  races.
"It's a close race for those positions and we have to win  rounds to stay in
it," said McClenathan, who has 29 career victories.  He  was runner-up at St.
Louis last month and currently is ninth with 453 points,  less than two
rounds (at 20 points per round) out of sixth.  "Obviously, we  need to be in the
top eight after 17 races.  It is doable as long as we  start winning rounds.  We
need to get a hot streak  going."

McClenathan did qualify fifth last week in New Jersey with a 4.516-second effort, but the engine exploded in a huge fireball at the finish line on that run. He was upset in the first round.

Crew chief Wes Cerny and assistant crew chief Tony Shortall, meanwhile, continue pursuing consistent runs while McClenathan keeps a wary eye on point totals.

Qualifying runs are scheduled Friday at 5 and 8 p.m. and 1  and 3:30 p.m.
Saturday.  Sunday's eliminations begin at 11  a.m.

This race is the second race on the six-week marathon that continues to Bristol, Tenn.; Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. The final two of the Countdown to Eight races take place at Brainerd, Minn. (Aug. 10-12) and Reading, Pa. (Aug. 17-19).

-credit: sgm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Cory Mac