McCLENATHAN REGAINS NO. 1 ON FRIDAY IN POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2010) - Under ideal conditions and driving the FRAM Top Fuel dragster, Cory McClenathan took back the No. 1 position he earned on Thursday and lost on Friday by posting a ...
McCLENATHAN REGAINS NO. 1 ON FRIDAY IN POMONA
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2010) - Under ideal conditions and driving the FRAM Top Fuel dragster, Cory McClenathan took back the No. 1 position he earned on Thursday and lost on Friday by posting a stellar 3.787-second pass at 320.05 mph in the final round of qualifying for the 50th annual NHRA Winternationals.
He beat out Larry Dixon for the top spot, after Friday's No. 1 qualifier came close, recording a 3.788/314.39 in the final pass and slipped to second. McClenathan's Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher rounded out the top three with a 3.801/320.05 in that session.
This marked McClenathan's 34th No. 1 of his career, third of the event and his fifth at Auto Club Raceway.
His other laps included a 4.467/171.34 and a 3.838/319.98.
"We saw the air getting better and better and as the time went on we just thought, What do we have to lose? We had nothing to lose here," he said. "We knew both cars would run good. We knew Tony's car would run just about like ours, if not a tick better. We knew Larry was going to be out there trying to run hard.
"Todd (Okuhara, crew chief) came back and said 'It's going to be all or nothing. It's going to go all the way or it's going to go about 60 feet, so be ready.' By the time we got to half-track I knew we were on a good run.
"It's gratifying. I really owe it all to Todd and Phil (Shuler, co-crew chief) and the guys who work on this FRAM car, I really do. They did an awesome job through the off-season and then in testing and they were very prepared for the race this weekend.
"Todd is the methodical one and Phil will just throw the whole trailer at it. So, somewhere in between there we have a very good package and I think they've done a great job together. They very much complement each other. People don't realize, it's not one person anymore. It takes two good tuners to be out there doing it. And that's why we call them co-crew chiefs.
"You're sitting there and it's this cool and the conditions are perfect," he said, of waiting to run in the next-to-last pairing. "You see some cars go out there and shake the tires. I know that we have enough power to pull any tire out here, so I'm not worried about that. And obviously we're going to keep the Goodyears on it.
"But, at the same time, to be able to go out there and get No. 1 back on the last shot and have it for tomorrow is awesome. Now, the big thing is can you take that No. 1 and parlay that into a win tomorrow? That's the big question. We're going to try to do that. Be very consistent, go out there and take each run and don't race the guy next to you, race the race track. That's what we'll do tomorrow."
McClenathan faces Steve Faria in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.