GAINESVILLE, Fla. – For the third time in as many races Terry McMillen and his Amalie Oil Top Fuel Dragster faced the event winner or runner-up in the first round of competition. McMillen would lower his career best elapsed time to 3.865 seconds in a losing effort to Tony Schumacher’s 3.818 seconds at 320.81 mph. Schumacher would go on to win the event and reset the national speed record for 1000ft racing in Top Fuel.
“We struggled in qualifying,” McMillen said. “But, when it counted Richard [Hartman] and my guys came up with an aggressive tune up that kept everyone honest. We’re continually improving. Now we just have to have a better qualifying effort earlier so we have some better race day data to work from.”
McMillen’s incremental times were impressive (60ft-0.846 sec., 330ft-2.179, 660ft-3.088/278.00 mph), beating Schumacher’s 60ft time and only trailing by a little over 1 mph at half track. “I’m not going to say we have a eighty-one (3.81 second pass) in our pocket just yet,” McMillen added. “But I can tell you Richard has us well on our way to winning some rounds. We just want to prove that we belong over here and that we can be competitive.”
When Richard Hartman was asked about the likelihood of facing final round contestants in the opening round of competition for the third time this season he said, “I guess everyone will want us first round next race.”
The next stop for the Hoosier Thunder Motorsports team will be the Inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals March 25-28 in Charlotte, North Carolina.