Reading: Cory McClenathan Saturday summary

McClenathan seventh on Maple Grove Raceway qualifying grid MOHNTON, Pa. -- All four qualifying sessions are complete at the NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove raceway, just outside Reading, Pa. Cory McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif.,...

McClenathan seventh on Maple Grove Raceway qualifying grid

MOHNTON, Pa. -- All four qualifying sessions are complete at the NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove raceway, just outside Reading, Pa. Cory McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif., driver of the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports Centennial Batteries Top Fuel Dragster finished in the seventh position on the qualifying grid.

Starting out with a bang, McClenathan opened qualifying in the fourth spot on Friday. The team then apparently missed the set up and smoked the tires in Friday's evening session and dropped to seventh. Rebounding on Saturday and moving back to the fourth position, McClenathan clicked off a pass of 4.612 seconds at 316.82 mph, the quickest of the third session. After a lengthy rain delay, the fourth and final qualifying session got underway nearly four hours behind schedule. The Henkelman & Baca team elected not to run and after all was said and done settled for seventh.

Qualifying in the top half of the field for the 167th time in 210 events, McClenathan recounted his qualifying efforts. "(Crew chief) Wes Cerny has been aggressive all weekend," recalled McClenathan. "We established a good base in that opening run, but must have got too aggressive in the Friday evening session and smoked the tires. Today (Saturday) we had the quickest run in the first session and then with the rain and cooler track decided to sit out the final run. Because of the cooler temperatures a couple of cars ran good and moved passed us. We finished in seventh."

In tomorrow's eliminations, which begin at 11 a.m., McClenathan faces Darrell Russell in the opening round. Russell qualified 10th with a best of 4.637 seconds at 314.90 mph. The pair have met three times this season with Russell coming away with two wins.

-h&bm-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan