Seattle: Cory McClenathan eliminations summary

Cory McClenathan: Qualified No. 6: 4.627 seconds at 309.42 mph Eliminations: Round ...

Cory McClenathan: Qualified No. 6: 4.627 seconds at 309.42 mph

Round #1: McClenathan (4.687/310.34) def. John Smith (4.813/275.17)
Round #2 (Quarterfinals): McClenathan (Red-Light: 10.573/80.18) lost to Larry Dixon (4.586/321.73)

McClenathan opens slight breathing room in point chase.

KENT, Wash. -- When eliminations for the 15th annual NHRA Lucas Oil Products Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., got underway on Sunday morning, July 28th, Cory McClenathan, from Anaheim, Calif., driver of the Henkelman & Baca Motorsports Dragster began his quest for his second straight final round in Top Fuel.

First up on the ladder for McClenathan in the opening round was John Smith. McClenathan was away first at the light and never looked back crossing the finish line over a tenth of a second before Smith.

Next up for the Henkelman & Baca team was the Miller Lite Dragster of Top Fuel point leader Larry Dixon but persistent mist and rain forced NHRA to postpone all remaining racing scheduled for Sunday until the following day, Monday, July 29th.

When racing resumed on Monday, the match up with Dixon was one of the headliners of the second round. McClenathan was overanxious at the starting light and red-lighted. With a free pass, Dixon served notice that he was a driver on a mission, running the low elapsed time and fastest speed of the second round.

"First, let me say this light had nothing to do with Denver. We had to take a shot at (Larry) Dixon because he has a tenth on us in E.T. Unfortunately, we cut it too close. Then about 100-foot out we smoked the tires. So the bottom line is it just wasn't our day," said McClenathan after the disappointing loss.

When the points are tallied after the race, McClenathan will still hold onto third in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings. In fact, McClenathan gained 20 more points on fourth place Tony Schumacher. That was the good news. The bad news was that he didn't pick up any points on Larry Dixon and Kenny Bernstein, who stand one and two respectively.

With the extra day in Seattle it makes for a short week as the "Western Swing" concludes this weekend (August 1-4) at Infineon Raceway in the wine country of Sonoma, Calif., with the 15th annual NHRA FRAM-Autolite Nationals. Both Henkelman & Baca Motorsports team owners are from the San Francisco Bay Area. Rick Henkelman is from San Jose, Calif., David Baca from Brentwood, Calif.


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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , David Baca , Cory McClenathan