CHANDLER, Ariz. (February 26, 2017) – Terry McMillen and his AMALIE® Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR® Top Fuel team showed up at the Wild Horse Motorsports Park just outside of Phoenix with just one thing on their minds. Be consistent.
After setting a new career best elapsed time in Pomona at the season-opening event, McMillen and crew set out to prove it wasn’t a fluke. After leaving Phoenix the team had made nine runs on the new chassis. Four of those nine runs were 3.76 or better. He fell to Brittany Force in the opening round posting a 3.76 to Force’s 3.67.
“We’re sort of still in test mode,” McMillen said after the race. “I think that’s making some people nervous. We’re still tweaking the tune-up and working on the new clutch pack and it’s real close. I don’t think we’re going to sneak up on anyone this year – anyone that’s paying attention anyway.”
“I think for years we’ve tried to run with the ‘big dogs’,” McMillen added. “We’re taking a different approach. Now they’re going to have to run from the gator and the gator is getting quicker.”
“Hey, don’t get me wrong,” McMillen said. “I’m not even going to pretend this thing is easy. We’ve got more work to do.”
McMillen and crew chief Rob Wendland brought back all but one of the crew from the 2016 team and the consistency in the crew is something McMillen thinks is another factor. “We’re still young,” McMillen said of his crew. “We’re young in age and young in experience – but I’d put these guys and girl up against anyone. They’re really starting to gel as a team and I think that’s another part of our success.”
“Anytime you start running bigger numbers, it’s going to show you where your weaknesses are,” Wendland said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s people or parts. Nitro will find the weak link. We’re going to keep working on it and keep the continual improvement going forward.”
McMillen and crew are headed for the AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, March 16-19