Joliet, Ill. — Terry McMillen will bring his Amalie Oil/UNOH Top Fuel Dragster to the O’Reilly Route 66 Nationals with one thing on his mind – stay in 10th place for the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.
The Chicago area event marks the 11th stop on the NHRA tour with just six remaining races before the Countdown starts. “I’m not sure if I like being chased for the 10th spot or chasing someone for the 10th spot,” McMillen said, referring to his failed last second fight last season to make the top 10. “I know we’re going to do whatever it takes to maintain the 10th spot. We’ve got to make up some ground; it has to start in Chicago.” McMillen maintains a slim two-point margin over Bob Vandergriff, Jr. and trails Shawn Langdon by 65 points for the ninth spot.
McMillen grew up about 20 minutes from the Joliet track in Midlothian and expects to see a lot of friends and family at what could be considered his hometown event. “There’s a lot of bragging rights that goes with racing around here,” McMillen said. “Beside family and friends, we’ll have Mark Adelizzi from Flatout Gaskets here. It’s just a big drag racing area – you want to leave here with something to brag about. Schumacher lives near here, Creasy, Jr. and the Zizzo’s – heck I remember delivering parts to “The Greek’s” (Chris Karamesines) garage when I was a 16-year-old kid.”
McMillen’s Elkhart, Ind. based team will also be sponsored in part by LaQuinta Inns & Suites for the race this weekend. the team headquarters will be at the Willowbrook, Ill. hotel just 30 minutes from the track.