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Drivers not in the Countdown feel the sting, and urge to win

What about the NHRA drivers not in the Countdown to the Championship? It hurts, but at least they still have a chance to win, writes John Schwarb.

Updated: September 2, 2007, 11:47 PM ET
By John Schwarb | Special to ESPN.com

CLERMONT, Ind. -- Arriving here at O'Reilly Raceway Park last week for testing in advance of the 53rd Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Cory McClenathan searched out fellow Top Fuel driver Dave Grubnic with an idea.

Neither qualified for the inaugural NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship, but perhaps incentive to perform could come from elsewhere.

"What do we do? Maybe we should put up some money and have our own little championship," McClenathan said.

It ...

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