NORWALK, Ohio (June 25, 2017) – WIth six races remaining before the NHRA Countdown begins, Terry McMillen and his AMALIEⓇ Motor Oil XTERMIGATORⓇ Top Fuel team made a statement in the first round of eliminations at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio when they defeated Shawn Langdon on a holeshot. The margin of victory was just 0.077 seconds. In the second round of eliminations, McMillen took a starting line advantage over Brittany Force and led the race until Force passed him just before the finish line as McMillen experienced late race engine issues.
McMillen’s win over Langdon moves him from 10th to eighth in points in what’s shaping up to be a six race, four-way fight between McMillen, Langdon, Palmer and Coughlin, Jr, for the 10th and final spot. “You hear sports announcers say all the time that you have to win the ones you’re supposed to win,” McMillen said. “Competition is so close and tough in Top Fuel. I don’t know if anyone can really say they were ‘supposed’ to win any given round. I’m also not going to say that we were in a must win situation in that race with Shawn, but it certainly was a big win for us as this Countdown starts to heat up.”
“We’ve been down to the wire, trying to make the Countdown for so many years,” McMillen continued. “It always comes down to the U.S. Nationals for us and we’ve fallen short by as little as one point. Then we go back and look at the season and say ‘what if we would have won that round, or didn’t have that oil down’ and you count the lost points or missed opportunities. I think that we are going to be able to look back at Norwalk and say, ‘this is where our season changed for the better.’”
“We’ve had some great improvements so far and Rob Wendland and our team has done an outstanding job,” McMillen added.
After Clay Millican won his first race last week in Bristol, NHRA Statistician, Lewis Bloom noted that McMillen now holds the record for most NHRA starts without a victory. McMillen thinks that’s a stat that he won’t hold for much longer. “I’m really excited about where we’re at,” McMillen said. “I’d be really surprised if we didn’t go deep into eliminations in Chicago. Wendland really has a handle on this car right now and I think we can find our way to the winner’s circle soon.”
The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters at Route 66 Raceway July 6-9.