Richmond: Cory McClenathan Saturday notes

MCCLENATHAN CLAIMS NO. 2 IN VIRGINIA QUALIFYING DINWIDDIE, Va. (Oct. 10. 2009) - Cory McClenathan, who was No. 1 qualifier at the end of Friday at the NHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park, relinquished that position to Larry...

MCCLENATHAN CLAIMS NO. 2 IN VIRGINIA QUALIFYING

DINWIDDIE, Va. (Oct. 10. 2009) - Cory McClenathan, who was No. 1 qualifier at the end of Friday at the NHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park, relinquished that position to Larry Dixon today under nearly perfect weather and track conditions.

Driving the FRAM Tough Guard Top Fuel dragster, the four-time champion of this event did improve on the 3.815-second lap at 318.24 mph he established on Friday night with a career-best 3.784/319.37 in today's final round, but it was just a tick short of over-taking Dixon's 3.783/297.42, set earlier today.

McClenathan did earn six very important bonus qualifying points in the Countdown to 1 playoffs with those two efforts, as the quickest in the second and fourth rounds. His other tries produced a 3.898/308.28 (No. 7) and a tire-smoking 9.757/74.03 (No. 5) in the third round.

"We needed the extra points," said McClenathan, who entered the event third in the Countdown to 1 standings, just 93 points out of first place. "We're counting every single point and that's six points during qualifying that we got. That's perfect.

"We qualified No. 2. We'll take that. We were right there with them, though, and it's the first time we got to run in the .70s with this car. So, the FRAM guys are doing a great job. They figured it out.

"We went up there and really tried to go for it in the third round because we saw what everybody else was doing, but we smoked the tires. The FRAM crew came back, and made all the right adjustments for the final session.

"The two pairs in front of us smoked the tires so we were a little concerned there. But (crew chiefs) Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler stuck with their guns and I'm glad they did. The car ran great."

McClenathan faces Todd Simpson in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

-credit: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Cory McClenathan , Todd Simpson