Reading: Cory McClenathan final report

MCCLENATHAN DROPS TIGHT FIRST ROUND IN READING MOHNTON, PA. (Aug. 17, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan was eliminated in the opening stanza today for the first time in the last eight races. He lost to Antron Brown by a...

MCCLENATHAN DROPS TIGHT FIRST ROUND IN READING

MOHNTON, PA. (Aug. 17, 2008) -- FRAM Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan was eliminated in the opening stanza today for the first time in the last eight races. He lost to Antron Brown by a mere one-thousandth of a second at the 24th annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, outside of Reading, Pa.

The pair was the second to stage for the first round of Top Fuel eliminations. McClenathan left the starting line first with an outstanding .003 (of-a-second) reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Brown's equally stellar .015. The cars ran side by side to the 1000-ft. finish line until Brown nipped the FRAM dragster by inches with an elapsed time of 3.909 seconds at 309.06 mph to McClenathan's 3.922/305.56.

"That was a tough one all the way around," said McClenathan, who remained No. 4 in the points, having already clinched a berth in the Countdown to 1 playoffs. Brown is No. 2 in the standings. "You don't want to have to depend on someone else to do your dirty work; you want to go out there and take the guy out that's in front of you in points. We had a shot to move up to the No. 2 position in the standings and we just let it get away from us.

"It was a very good race. Antron and I both basically just guessed at the (starting) lights, but you have to take chances sometimes as a driver and that was one of those times we both had to do our jobs. It was very close all the way from start to finish; they just came out on the better end.

"We have a great race car," added McClenathan. "I told (crew chief) Mike Green and the guys not to hang their heads. The FRAM dragster is a great race car and it's been consistent all weekend long. That run would have beaten almost anybody else out there and I wouldn't switch anything. We just need to continue with this performance into Indy and try to find a couple of ways to go a little bit quicker and then prepare for the Countdown.

"I'm down a little bit, but at the same time I have to look at the whole picture. We're in the Countdown, we're very solid in the point standings and we're going to look good going into Indy. I'm looking forward to that."

The Countdown to 1 playoffs for the top 10 kick off following the next event, the 54th annual U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Cory McClenathan