MORRISON, Colo. – What started out as a promising weekend for Terry McMillen and his Amalie Oil/UNOH/Allstar Performance Top Fuel team ended up leaving McMillen dejected and looking for answers.
“We came into Denver with a pretty good game plan,” McMillen said after the first two sessions of qualifying. The first session saw McMillen post an impressive 3.947 elapsed time at 314.75mph that would hold on to the provisional #2 qualifying position in the thin mile high air. Even in the second round of qualifying McMillen was able to outpace Spencer Massey’s incremental times until the car drifted out of the groove forcing McMillen to lift. Still his Elkhart, Ind. based team posted the fourth fastest elapsed time of the second session.
“There was a lot of confidence coming into eliminations,” McMillen said. “We felt like we were going to be able to string a few consistent laps together and see where the chips might fall. It just didn’t work out like that.”
Scott Palmer would take a slight staring line advantage and appear to have the go ahead victory until his car pitched the blower belt leaving Palmer on a dead coast. However, just a few feet prior to that McMillen’s car lost traction. Several attempts to peddle the car proved pointless as Palmer would coast through for the victory.
“As a driver you want to be prepared for everything,” a dejected McMillen said just after his loss. “I really feel like I didn’t do a good job peddling the car and getting it to hook back up. But my crew guys reminded me that we win these things as a team – we lose them as a team also. So, we’ll just pick up the pieces and head to Sonoma.”