Edmonton, Alb. – Terry McMillen kicked off race-week for the Rocky Mountain Nationals this morning with an appearance on Canada’s #1 TV station, Global TV. The morning show featured an interview with Terry and newsman Mark Milne. McMillen, driver of the Amalie Oil Top Fuel Dragster, and defending event champion, told Milne that he hopes to repeat.
“Everyone remembers their first win,” McMillen said. “Last year we overcame a lot of adversity to get that win, so it makes it that much more special.” McMillen’s title defense is the first of his career and one that he expects to be tough. “This year’s Rocky Mountain Nationals is very special for our team,” McMillen continued. “Rob and Kim Reeves are working with this team and their busy schedules haven’t allowed them to be at a race yet this season. Having a chance to race and perform well for them will make this race special.”
“The competition in IHRA Top Fuel is tough,” McMillen said. “If there’s an easy round win out there, we haven’t found it.” While McMillen’s low ET of elimination at Maryland was not good enough to advance him past the hole shot victory of Mike Strausburg, he knows his John “Bodie” Smith tuned team is headed in the right direction.
Currently fifth in points, McMillen thinks his team is still in position to win its first championship. “A lot of teams will tell you they aren’t counting points,” McMillen said. “We’re counting them,” he chuckled. “We still control our own destiny. With some good fortune and good luck we should be able to make a run at the top spot.”
While the Top Fuel team is counting points, their Hoosier Thunder Motorsports teammates on the Amalie Oil InstiGator Funny Car are waiting to borrow the calculator to assess their position in the championship hunt. The Les Mellows tuned, Paul Noakes piloted team comes to Edmonton fresh off of a final round appearance in Maryland. That performance puts the InstiGator in the fourth spot with six races remaining.
Les Mellows has had his share of success in Edmonton when he tuned for Rob Atchison. “I love this track,” Mellows said waiting for the last leg of his flight from Calgary to Edmonton. “I can’t wait to get there. The atmosphere is like nothing else in drag racing.”
Driver Paul Noakes will be making his first appearance in Edmonton. “I’m really amped up already,” Noakes said as he waited with Mellows. “We’ve got this Can-Am thing going on with Terry and I’ve heard so much about the fans up there and the race. I can’t wait to experience everything. We want to continue on the success we had in Maryland and see if we can win one of these things.”
Mellows agrees, “There have been a few teams, including Paul and I and Terry last season, that have won a couple of Canada races back to back. We’d like to start the first step to a “Canadian Double” for the Amalie Oil InstiGator right here Edmonton.”