Cory early leader at Denver
Cory McClenathan (Top Fuel), Tony Pedregon (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock), and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) adapted to the changes better than their contemporaries to grab the provisional pole positions heading into the final day of qualifying.
Cory Mac returned to the site of his first NHRA win and outran teammate Tony Schumacher's seemingly insurmountable 3.943 run with an outstanding 3.929 at 308.07 mph. The driver of the Fram dragster led the kings of the sport on a day in which fans witnessed Top Fuel drivers post three-second, 300-plus mph numbers on the scoreboards.
"We came in here wanting to run in the 3.9- to 4.0-second range at around 310 mph," recalled McClenathan. "I have to give a lot of credit to Alan Johnson. When our teammate Tony [Schumacher] ran two pairs in front of us, I'm sure he went back to Mikey [crew chief Mike Green] and gave him the sign to go for it. We followed their lead, and that's what team cars are all about.
"I'm excited to get back to racing and going rounds. We've been racing with heavy hearts the past couple weeks. The loss of Scott Kalitta affected the whole drag racing community, and I also lost Peggy Rogers, my best friend's mom, right before that. My grandma, Dorothy Jones, passed away July 8. She was 88 years old, loved drag racing, and lived a great life. After everything that's happened, I'm glad to be back at a racetrack doing what I love."