MADISON, Ill. – It has been a busy week around the Amalie Oil Top Fuel dragster race shop. Terry McMillen, owner and driver of the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel team hopes this week is even busier as the team rolls into the Gateway International Raceway for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals.
“Richard (Hartman, crew chief) has been going over everything with a fine-tooth comb,” McMillen said. “This car is so close to putting up some really impressive numbers – it’s what keeps us motivated. If you look at our incremental times from the 330 foot mark to the finish line, we’re a top five or six car. Yet our 60 foot numbers are at the bottom half of that same incremental sheet. The car really wants to run – if we can just figure out that piece of the puzzle (60 foot times) the car will go.”
McMillen’s team will also add a different rear wing to the car this weekend. “We had a chance to pick up a Magiera rear wing,” McMillen said. “Not only is it lighter weight than our current wing, we think it will make more down force on the big end of the race track. We’re going to try anything and everything we can to start winning some rounds.”
With six races in the record books McMillen has continually improved, setting new personal best in elapsed time, mile per hour and qualifying efforts so far this season, yet the Elkhart,Ind. based team is still searching for its first round win. “We’re as motivated as we were when we started the season,” McMillen said. “I know there’s nothing more my team would rather do than to work a little overtime on Sunday in St. Louis. We’ve improved every part of our game except race day, we hope to change that this weekend.”
McMillen’s weekend will start early when he does a photo shoot for a CD/album cover. McMillen, his Amalie Oil Dragster and local models will be the subjects for the cover. “I’m not sure why they want me in there with all those beautiful models,” McMillen joked. “I’ll have my helmet on – so that should help. We’ve worked with Brian Bayley before on a CMT project and we’re proud to work with him on his independent venture also.” Bayley’s band lineup, the Louder House Project, is producing a race-themed album, Fast Forward, due out later this year. Photos from the shoot are expected to me online Thursday night.
Just before Saturday qualifying, McMillen will call into 1320AM – KFan, The Sports Leader in Salt Lake City, Utah. Terry will speak with Shane Beck, Steve Schoenfeld and Russ Sala Jr. during their Speedway Radio Network show “The Racing Fan” (11:00am to 1:00pm ET). Fans can tune in live or download the podcast at http://gofastwin.com.
Full Throttle Series qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3:15 and 5:45 p.m. on April 30 and 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 1. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 2.
ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 9 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, May 1. ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute pre-race show, at 10 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 2. ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage beginning at 7 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 2.