MCCLENATHAN EYES WESTERN SWING REPEAT BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 6, 2010) - Cory McClenathan swept the 1997 Western Swing, winning in Denver, Sonoma, Calif., and Seattle, before going on to win four straight events and posting a career-high six ...
MCCLENATHAN EYES WESTERN SWING REPEAT
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (July 6, 2010) - Cory McClenathan swept the 1997 Western Swing, winning in Denver, Sonoma, Calif., and Seattle, before going on to win four straight events and posting a career-high six victories that year in eight final rounds. This season, the order is reversed, with the Swing beginning in Seattle and ending in Denver.
That '97 Seattle victory was his only triumph at the NHRA Northwest Nationals, and the driver of FRAM Top Fuel dragster is aiming to repeat this weekend as he targets another sweep.
"With the way the races are set up this year, Seattle is the first race of the Swing, and I'm excited about that," said McClenathan, who has won two events so far in four final rounds of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and stands third in points. "It's a little bit easier to get cracking when you're in the first race of the three-week stretch that used to be the last one.
"My daughter Courtney will be there with me, the weather should be good, and we have a good car. All of those are confidence boosters," added McClenathan, who has already clinched a spot in the Countdown to 1 playoffs, to be held in the final six races of the season. "The FRAM crew guys and I have all regrouped and recuperated from a tough four-in-a-row run, and I spent the Fourth of July at (fiancee) Debi's family reunion in Alabama. Debi (Dixon) will catch up with me in Sonoma and we'll keep on rocking. July will be a crazy month."
As for his chances of moving up in the point standings and ahead of leader Larry Dixon and second-in-points Tony Schumacher, "Nobody is every happy with No. 2 or 3," he said. "Obviously Larry has a great car, my Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony has a very good car, and they have both won races this year. We also have to look at Antron Brown and Brandon Bernstein. Those guys are right there. Those four were all at least once in the finals in the last few races. We know they're all going to have good cars and be right there in the mix. And you can never count out Doug Kalitta.
"Yeah, I'd like to throw down some more wins before we get into the Countdown and move up in the standings, but when it really comes down to it, I would save it all for the Countdown," added McClenathan, who has advanced to the semifinals in the last two events and four times all season. "I have no problem with that. But these semifinal finishes are a little anti-climactic. At the same time, I know guys who have won the championship by going to a whole lot of semis, and that's what we've been doing here lately.
"We've had a good car in qualifying (Four No. 1s, all top-half efforts this year), but we've fallen a little bit short in eliminations on Sunday. However, if we're saving all our luck and all our good runs for the Swing or for the Countdown, I'm good either way. We'll work hard on that."