McClenathan collects No. 6 in qualifying
Gainesville, Saturday: Fram Top Fuel dragster driver Cory McClenathan continued his consistent performance in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series by qualifying No. 6 for the NHRA Gatornationals today.
McClenathan made the quickest and fastest run in the first of only two qualifying sessions (Friday's qualifying rounds were rained out), as he drove straight to the top of the 16-car ladder with an elapsed time of 4.587 seconds at 324.36 mph to earn the No. 1 spot at the time. He returned for the second round and improved with a steady 4.581/327.59, but slipped five positions to finish the day in No. 6.
"Once again we were back in the same situation where it rained on Friday and put us in a position where we had to run two times on Saturday to get qualified," McClenathan said, referring to the last race in Phoenix, where Friday's qualifying runs were also cancelled due to rain. "Crew chief Mike Green and the FRAM team did a great job. We ran 4.58 and that put us in the No. 1 spot for the first session. On the second run it was one of those things where we tried to get after it a little bit and it didn't do exactly what we wanted it to do. It ran another 4.58, but there were a couple of guys who ran better.
"We're happy with that. We're glad we qualified in the No. 6 position. We'll take it one round at a time tomorrow and that's how we'll do it. The points chase thickens and the plot changes," added McClenathan, who is fourth in the standings. "You've got some guys who are really doing well in the points who didn't qualify (such as Doug Kalitta, Morgan Lucas and Bob Vandergriff Jr.). So, it's one of those deals where we're just thankful that we got in. Itís a tough field, it always is, and it's anybody's game tomorrow. But we're glad we're in the No. 6 position. We have lane choice and hopefully we'll go from there. I'm pretty confident going into race day tomorrow."
McClenathan, who has never won the Gatornationals in his 29 victories, will face Hillary Will in the first round of Sunday's eliminations.
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