Gainesville, Fla. — Terry McMillen will make his second career appearance in his Amalie Oil Top Fuel dragster at the Gainesville Raceway March 12-14 during the 41st annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals. After successfully qualifying at Pomona and Phoenix, McMillen hopes to take his team to the next step.
“We missed at least one, if not two, great opportunities to win a round so far this season,” McMillen said. “Richard Hartman [crew chief] has our car really moving early – career best numbers for me. We’ve made some adjustments in the off week, hopefully enough to get us to the end of the track and in the top half of the field.”
The team made adjustments to the front wing and the balance of the car in an effort to get the car to settle back down with all four wheels on the track. “Basically we’re carrying the front wheels for one second – at a critical point in the race,” McMillen explained. “We put a lot of new stuff into this car over the winter and the balance was off enough that I just couldn’t steer it. With more front wing we should be able to keep the front tires on the ground and then we can start to go after the clutch a little harder in the middle part of the track. When we tried to get on the clutch a little harder in Phoenix it just planted the wheelie bar and tried to turn the car over.”
“I’m excited about Gainesville. We’ve made the necessary adjustments and now we should be able to give the car in the next lane a legitimate run for their money.”
Besides the excitement for the race, McMillen is looking forward to racing in Florida. “Amalie’s headquarters is just a few miles down the road in Tampa,” McMillen said. “We’ll have a lot of Amalie guests and distributors visiting – so I always look forward to that. Plus the Gainesville fans have always treated us like one of their own,” McMillen chuckled. “Must have something to do with a big gator running 300mph.
Professional qualifying begins 12PM on Friday and Saturday March 12-13. Final eliminations begin 11AM Sunday. ESPN2 will have taped delayed coverage of qualifying on Saturday at midnight and re-air Sunday morning at 10AM. Eliminations will be broadcast from 6PM-9PM Sunday night.