TOPEKA, Kan. — It took nine tries, but Terry McMillen, driver of the Amalie Oil Top Fuel team, got his first round win of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle season. McMillen defeated Steve Torrence in the opening round of the O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. The win gets the proverbial monkey off of his team’s back and gives the Elkhart, Ind. based team momentum going into the heart of the summer racing season.
“I knew we had something to work with after Saturday night qualifying,” McMillen said. “When we ran the fifth best elapsed time of Q4 I knew Richard [Hartman – Crew Chief] had a good tune-up for our car.”
The Amalie Oil dragster was only one of two teams able to win from the bottom half of the ladder and the right lane. McMillen posted a 3.917 e.t. at 307.86mph to Torrence’s 3.994 e.t. at 303.50mph.
The round two match-up with Brandon Bernstein would also prove to be a good drag race, with Bernstein posting 3.918 e.t. to McMillen’s losing 3.949 e.t.
“We’re not complaining or making excuses,” McMillen said, “but we left a little bit on the table against Brandon. We lost three pounds of blower boost with a broken air line and that put a hole out before half track. We had more mile per hour than Brandon at half track and we might have been able to run him down if it hadn’t been for that. When looked at the computer and thought that run could have been a very low ninety or even a high eighty-nine. But that’s racing.”
“We’re really happy about getting our first round win of the season and that monkey off our back,” McMillen said. “Hopefully now that we’ve figured out how to win a round we can concentrate on going rounds and getting this team into the Countdown to 10.”
“We made six consistent runs here in Topeka, won a round and we didn’t hurt anything. That’s a good weekend in our book.”