In 2017, The NHRA had one of its best seasons yet and had many different winners in all four categories. Last year, Terry McMillen along with Clay Millican got their first wins last season in the top fuel category.
This year, McMillen is more confident than ever after one race in to the 2018 NHRA season and looks forward to getting more wins in 2018. Even though McMillen did not get the win in Pomona, it felt good to get back to racing once again. “We are excited,” McMillen said. “We have a really solid car and have good opportunities to have some good performances and get some wins,” McMillen continued.
Last Year, McMillen broke through and got his very first NHRA event win at Las Vegas toward the end of the season. McMillen says at the end of the year the team peaked and started to perform well as the countdown to the championship. “When we were going into the top 10, I thought our team peaked at the right time. The car started to come around and we were running really consistent. When we left Dallas last year, I knew that we really had a good car. We had fixed some of the issues we have had over the season. I could have never scripited the win at Las Vegas the way that it is, but the car did its job and we ended up winning the race. The feeling of winning your first race, besides the births of my kids is the greatest feeling in the world,” McMillen continued.
This year in NHRA, McMillen says you are going see all different types of winners this year and not just the same team winning all the time. “Last year, you have to look at Clay’s win and our win as guys who drove for independent teams going against multi car teams. It’s good for the sport as well as the independent teams. Don Schumacher has done a really good job with this. He sells his parts to everyone. People that are getting his stuff are getting good stuff and cars that can go down the track,” McMillen said.
Across the board McMillen says 2017 was the best year for top fuel because it was not just one team winning. Multiple teams were winning last year. McMillen was the 101st winner in NHRA history when he won his first race last year. “The dominant teams did not win all the time last year,” McMillen said. “Different cars are winning and I think it will be the same this year. It won’t be just one team winning,” he continued.
There were not many changes in the offseason but there was one change in the schedule for 2018. During the off season, Englishtown Raceway announced that it will be closing its dragway for good. The NHRA had been racing there since the 1960’s and will be replaced with a race in Virginia during the second week of June to replace the Englishtown date. “I’m going to miss the race at Englishtown,” McMillen said. “It was like losing the US Nationals because it’s been around forever. That being said, I’m excited to go to Virginia and I think the promotions team there has already been working hard at getting people to the racetrack. I think the stands will be packed for the race in June.” McMillen continued.
Terry McMillen has had his Amalie Dragster ready to go for every race. A big part of the success has been Crew Chief Rob Wendland. Since Rob got to Terry McMillen Racing in 2016, he brought organizational skills that are very important in tuning a top fuel car to victory. “What Rob has brought to the table, besides knowing how to tune the car, is that he has brought organization,” McMillen remarked. “His organizational skills and his attention to detail are phenomenal. My team has been together for three years now and these guys know what Rob expects. They know what information he wants, how he wants it, and the format that he wants it in. These guys are on board with what they are doing and he does his job very well,” McMillen continued.
The next race for McMillen and the rest of NHRA is the NHRA Arizona nationals in Chandler, Arizona. The race falls on the weekend of February 23rd-25th.