McClenathan Looking for 400th Round Win, 30th Race Win at Torco Racing Fuels Nationals Cory McClenathan's next Top Fuel round win will be his 400th, a milestone reserved for NHRA racers in the sport for the long haul. McClenathan, 44, has...
McClenathan Looking for 400th Round Win, 30th Race Win at Torco Racing Fuels Nationals
Cory McClenathan's next Top Fuel round win will be his 400th, a milestone reserved for NHRA racers in the sport for the long haul.
McClenathan, 44, has 29 victories in 50 final rounds in his 16th full season on tour. His last win came a year ago at Virginia Motorsports Park, site of this weekend's Torco Racing Fuels Nationals and, he hopes, his 400th round win and more.
"That is quite an accomplishment -- 400 rounds wins," said McClenathan, " but my FRAM Top Fuel team is focusing on winning this race again. By doing that, I will have 403 round wins by Sunday night. I believe we are capable of winning the race.
"Keith Adams, our new crew chief, and Tony Shortall, the assistant crew chief, have been working together for a short time, but they found a combination our car likes. In reality, if I had been on my game at the starting line at our last race in Dallas, I already would have 400 wins. I let team down and myself down because I was left at the starting line in the second round.
"I was very disappointed . . . we ran the quickest time (4.571 seconds) of the round and the fastest speed (328.06 mph) of the day and lost." The difference came in reaction times. Whit Bazemore got the win with a 4.592-second, 327.74-mph run and .091-second reaction to McClenathan's .138-second reaction.
"We are working on getting a solid foundation for the tune-up, and it's gratifying to see that coming around. We still want to finish in the top 10 and we have three more races to accomplish it."
There is more incentive to qualify well here for the Lake Havasu City, Arizona-based driver. This is the last event Top Fuel drivers can earn points for the special $100,000-to win Technicoat Shootout at Las Vegas, Oct. 27. Drivers have been earning qualifying points this season and the top eight will compete for the big prize. McClenathan is seventh with 2,465 points, 25 ahead of David Grubnic and Hillary Will, who are tied for eighth with 2,440.
"We need to qualify well so we are assured of a spot in the Shootout," said McClenathan. "But we always want to qualify well."
In 15 full seasons of competition, McClenathan has always finished in the top 10. He was second four times during that run and 10th just once, in 1991, his first season on tour. His current standing is 11th with 871 points, 35 (or two rounds) behind Grubnic.
"We missed the Countdown to the Championship this year and that's one of the reasons we are working so hard to get ready for next year," he said. "We don't mind playing the spoiler role, either, if we race any of the drivers still in the championship race."