MCCLENATHAN REACHES QUARTERFINALS IN POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2009) - After five days of rain, one qualifying run and a first-round win over rookie Shawn Langdon on Sunday (3.934/313.37 to 4.221/217.81), No. 3 qualifier Cory McClenathan...
MCCLENATHAN REACHES QUARTERFINALS IN POMONA
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2009) - After five days of rain, one qualifying run and a first-round win over rookie Shawn Langdon on Sunday (3.934/313.37 to 4.221/217.81), No. 3 qualifier Cory McClenathan drove the FRAM Top Fuel dragster to a quarterfinal finish on Tuesday.
Facing Doug Kalitta in the second round, it looked like it would be a close race for the pair, but Kalitta edged out McClenathan with a 3.826-second pass to McClenathan's 3.886/296.83, to start out the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series at the NHRA Winternationals.
"You feel bad for the fans, you feel bad for the crews, the drivers and everyone who had to endure four days of rain and then having to wait for the race itself, and waiting until Tuesday to run it," said McClenathan. "I think everybody was kind of throwing their hands up in the air not exactly sure what to think, say or do.
"The FRAM team hung in there. (Crew chiefs) Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler and the FRAM guys did exactly what they could do for me to go from A to B, and we didn't expect Doug Kalitta to step up in that second round and run 3.82. He certainly deserved the win. We ran a 3.88, and we probably backed it down a little bit. Todd, Phil and the FRAM guys did a great job.
"I'm just glad to get Pomona over and done with," added McClenathan. "It's one of my favorite races, but this time around it didn't seem great for everybody. I guess we were lucky enough to get qualified in that one session, fortunate enough to get past the first round, and now we can kind of gather it up and head to Phoenix in a couple of weeks and do it all over again.
"I'll be heading back to Indy today and then back to L.A. on Friday morning for the L.A. Boat Show for Nordic Boats. They have a display there and I'll be signing autographs Friday night, so if anybody is out there in L.A. who wants to come see us at the Boat Show at the L.A. Convention Center, we'll be there for that. And then we'll be back racing again, in Phoenix, and I'm looking forward to that."
Next up is the 25th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 20-22.