O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals
Mechanical trouble contributes to unexpected DNQ
McClenathan said he ran what and the crew felt was a "comfortable" elapsed time of 4.704 seconds at 320.12 mph that put them 11th at the time. But five more drivers ran quicker and McClenathan wound up 17th and out of the program for the first time in two years.
And he only missed the field by one-thousandth of a second. Joe Hartley ran 4.703 seconds.
"We really thought that time would stay in," said a disappointed McClenathan. "All we wanted to do was go from A to B and get a run that Wes could tune up for eliminations. We were fighting to stay in but the weather got cooler and the other cars ran quicker.
"I feel horrible for our sponsors and everybody on this team who has worked so hard. We had mechanical problems on our first three runs -- including a broken rocker arm on our first run (Saturday). We were on a good pass when that happened and the blower belt came off.
"This is a bitter pill to swallow, but we'll tough it out and get ready to go racing again next week at Reading (Pa., site of the rain-delayed Toyo Tires Nationals, Sept. 29-Oct. 1).
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