Terry McMillen Racing
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Entering the 66th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis Terry McMillen and the AMALIE? Motor Oil Top Fuel team had a number of goals most importantly picking up their second win at the historic event. In addition to victory the team was looking to continue gathering data and runs on a brand new chassis as well as making a switch in their clutch package. The three rounds of qualifying for the event including a Friday night session gave the team the opportunity to run in optimal conditions.
“We had a number of things we want to accomplish this weekend at the U.S. Nationals,” said McMillen. “We wanted to get another U.S. Nationals win in the AMALIE? Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR? Top Fuel dragster of course but we also wanted to continue to show the rest of the class that we are one of the top teams. Even though we didn’t get our top goal we accomplished all our other goals.”
On Friday night after a lengthy delay McMillen and his Rob Wendland tuned AMALIE? Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR? Top Fuel dragster made a 3.799 second run at 323.27 mph which was quick enough to place the team 10th on the qualifying sheet. It was the first run in the cooler night conditions since the team brought out the new chassis.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Today Terry McMillen and the AMALIE? Motor Oil Top Fuel team started a race with a brand new perspective. For the first time in the veteran driver’s career McMillen was the No. 1 qualifier. The AMALIE? Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR? Top Fuel dragster was up to the task and his Rob Wendland tuned Top Fuel dragster continued to show it is one of the top race cars on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. McMillen knew he had a great race car but he also knew that winning four rounds of racing would be a tough order no matter where he started in the qualifying ladder.
“Honestly, I tried to block the fact I was the No. 1 qualifier out of my head. I didn’t want that on my mind and because you start thinking about that and you get yourself in trouble,” said McMillen. “I just ran it like a normal race day. I didn’t care who was in the other lane. We just looked at every situation and ran our race. Whether we won or lost we were going to run on our terms. The No. 1 spot other than the prestige and finally checking that off our bucket list there was no distraction on race day.”
McMillen’s first round opponent was Lex Joon who continues to build a competitive Top Fuel team. The AMALIE? Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR? Top Fuel dragster stepped up and made another strong pass 3.799 seconds to get the win. The win moved McMillen into the second round against fellow championship contender Billy Torrence. In the quarterfinal match-up McMillen took a single for the win after Torrence experienced an issue after his burnout and was shut off by the NHRA starter.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – What a difference one day made for Terry McMillen and the AMALIE? Motor Oil Top Fuel team. After two tough runs in qualifying at the NHRA SummerNationals in Indianapolis, McMillen’s team rolled into race day as the No. 12 qualifier and facing a first round match-up with the winningest Top Fuel racer ever, Tony Schumacher. The AMALIE? Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR? Top Fuel dragster was up to the task and not only advanced from the first round raced to a semifinal finish and a jump in the Mello Yello point standings. McMillen moved up to No. 9 in the points and is just six points out of seventh place.
“I think everything on that car was gone through with a fine tooth comb last night,” said McMillen, from his lounge at the end of the day. (Crew chief) Rob (Wendland) had the chance to look as some other things. We found a couple different spots that we needed to tickle differently. We did that and from then on it has been fast.”
The opening run today for McMillen and the AMALIE? Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR? Top Fuel dragster was one for the ages. McMillen never trailed in the race, grabbing a string line advantage and posting low ET for the event. His winning elapsed time of 3.765 seconds at 320.66 mph propelled him into a second round match-up with three-time Top Fuel champion Antron Brown.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Terry McMillen and the AMALIE? Motor Oil Top Fuel team had momentum on their side after a day of testing on Friday and a solid day of qualifying yesterday at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals in Indianapolis. Coming back to the track that a few years ago was the site of his biggest win, the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend, in 2018 the Elkhart, Indiana racer was full of positive energy. He had a brand new race car and the AMALIE? Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR? Top Fuel dragster was ready to battle with a tough Top Fuel field.
In the opening session of qualifying McMillen and his Ron Wendland tuned Top Fueler made the quickest pass of the day and grabbed three valuable bonus points and went in to the final qualifying session as the provisional No. 1 qualifier. In the second round a couple dragster ran quicker but McMillen stepped up and jumped to the No. 3 qualifier position and a strong feeling going into race day. The track conditions during testing and qualifying were hot and as the second session came to an end a huge thunderstorm rolling over the race track ending the day for the racers and setting up a race day with completely different race conditions.
The NHRA made a number of adjustments to their racing schedule to maximize a safe racing environment for the teams and fans which included an early race start at 9 a.m. local time. McMillen’s first round opponent was not your traditional No. 14 qualifier. He would be facing three-time Top Fuel champion Antron Brown who struggled in his only two qualifying runs.
After over three months away from the racetrack AMALIE® Motor Oil Top Fuel team owner and driver Terry McMillen is ready to get back to racing at the upcoming E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park this week. His team, led by crew chief Rob Wendland, used the downtime effectively to streamline his organization and also maximize the newfound family time. McMillen and Wendland have a strong relationship and have put together a plan for the rest of the season they both feel could lead to their first NHRA Mello Yello championship together.
How ready are you to get back to racing?
Terry McMillen – “It is almost like starting the year over. You have all that anticipation. We built a new car over the winter and took it to Gainesville. We never got to run it so it has never been down the track. We are excited to see what the new car will do. (Crew Chief) Rob Wendland and the entire team have done a fantastic job just keeping everything going. All our wish lists or want to do lists are all completed. It is time to leave the shop, hear some noise and smell a little nitro. This is the longest we have ever been home sitting at one time. It is just go time. It is going to be different by far.”
TM- “We only have two qualifiers so it is not like you can go out there and try and hit a home run. You have to get the car down the track to make sure you are in the show. There could be close to 20 cars going into Indy so you can’t make a mistake. Hopefully you get that first run in that sets up the weekend.”
PHOENIX, AZ – Terry McMillen and the AMALIE? Motor Oil Top Fuel team had a career best weekend at the NHRA Arizona Nationals posting their quickest elapsed time in the first round today at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. Racing as the No. 4 qualifier against three-time world champion Antron Brown, McMillen and the AMALIE? Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR? Top Fuel dragster had lane choice and confidence.
The team knew they would have their hands full even on the strength of crew chief Rob Wendland’s strong tuning performance on Friday night. The Amalie Motor Oil Top Fuel dragster blistered the track with a 3.696 second run at 326.79 mph which was just a thousandth of a second off his career best elapsed time. Heading into the first round McMillen was eager to get to the starting line.
Unfortunately McMillen’s aggressiveness got the best of him and the veteran driver jumped the tree with a red-light start. The Amalie Motor Oil Top Fuel dragster proceeded to make a career best run of 3.691 seconds at 232.89 mph in a losing effort.
POMONA, CA – The 60th annual NHRA Winternationals proved to be a solid first race for Terry McMillen and the AMALIE? Motor Oil team . Beyond the race day results the team worked together acclimating new teammates and racing in challenging conditions giving McMillen a lot of confidence heading to Phoenix.
On race day McMillen and the AMALIE? Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR? Top Fuel dragster were confident about what lay ahead in kick-off event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. The team did not participate in any pre-season testing so the first race was a good opportunity to make immediate improvement.
“I am really excited about getting the race started. We didn’t test so we didn’t get a good run in the first qualifying session,” said McMillen, an eight time Top Fuel career finalist. “The final two qualifying sessions were awesome. We ran mid 70s and we are sitting in the No. 7 spot going into the race. We feel comfortable but we know there is more out there. We need to pick it up but it will be a challenge today because it is going to be cold and the track will be tight.”