BRAINERD, Minn. – It’s déjà vu all over again. Except this time the backdrop for the Amalie Oil/UNOH/Motor State Distributing team will be the most prestigious race in all of drag racing, the MAC Tools U.S. Nationals.
At this weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Terry McMillen posted a new career best 318.39MPH when he qualified 12th with a 3.880 e.t. to set up a first round match up with Antron Brown. More importantly McMillen went to the starting line knowing that David Grubnic had just lost a close race to Brandon Bernstein, which could allow McMillen the opportunity to take over the 10th and final spot of The Countdown to the Championship.
“The door was open,” McMillen said shortly after his loss to Brown. “We just couldn’t get through it. Our car is starting to run a lot better. We’re qualifying better. We just can’t seem to find a way to win on Sunday when it counts. Richard Hartman and my team are working so well together. I know we can do it.”
Hartman also felt the lost opportunity. “We were running right with him (Brown),” Hartman said. “We pushed the number three spark plug out at 1.3 seconds. We were within two-hundredths of him up to the 330 foot mark. You have to think we would have been there if that wouldn’t have happened.”
McMillen will have the chance to plead his case one final time as they head to Indianapolis on August 31 – September 5 for the U.S. Nationals. He’ll come into the race trailing team Kalitta driver David Grubnic by just 19 points – the exact same margin McMillen trailed Grubnic last season going into the final race to The Countdown.