ATLANTA – Terry McMillen made his first career NHRA start at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta this weekend. It was McMillen’s first attempt as a driver / owner and second attempt overall.
McMillen took his Torco powered, Amalie Oil Top Fuel team through the paces and posted a 4.74 elapsed time at 315 MPH to secure the 15th position for Sunday’s race which paired McMillen against Rod Fuller in the rain delayed first round.
When racing resumed McMillen took the tree first, staged and attempted to take an advantage of Fuller when the light turned green. Unfortunately for McMillen his attempt for an NHRA round win ended early when he left the starting line 0.043 seconds early.
“I’m a little mad at myself,” McMillen said. “I knew we had to take a shot at the tree, but I can’t remember the last time I went red. I rolled in a little deeper than I wanted to and then when I pushed the tree I went red,” he explained. McMillen was happy with his crews performance. “John Smith gave me a great car on race day, we just didn’t have enough for those guys today.”
McMillen made a valiant effort, posting a 4.674 at 315.86 MPH to Fuller’s 4.542 at 323.04 MPH. “I was pretty excited because I didn’t know I had jumped the gun at first. I never saw Rod and then when I heard John telling me on the radio I was red, I knew why I didn’t see Rod.”
It was a good experience for our team,” McMillen said. “We learned a lot, we got some good information on our runs and the NHRA officials treated us like regulars. We’ll be back to get our first round win you can bet on that.”