Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu with Moisture Loc sidelines drag racer
Elkhart, Ind. – It was October 2005 when Terry McMillen strapped into Evan Knoll’s Top Fuel Dragster for the 2005 IHRA World Finals in Rockingham. Just one month earlier, McMillen had earned his Top Fuel license with Knoll’s help. Now he would attempt to qualify for what would become the fastest Top Fuel field in IHRA history. While McMillen would narrowly miss the field (.026), things looked promising for the 2006 season.
As McMillen began winter testing in Knoll’s Top Fueler in preparation for the 2006 campaign, he began to notice a problem with his eye. After many visits to the doctor, McMillen had been diagnosed with a rare fungal eye infection (Fusarium Keratitis) as a result of using Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu with Moisture Loc product. The injury required McMillen to undergo corneal replacement and lens surgery. It would sideline McMillen’s Top Fuel hopes for the 2006 season.
While McMillen’s eye is still a source of pain and uncertainty, he has been cleared to race Top Fuel and his vision is much improved.
“Having this eye problem is a whole lot scarier than anything that I have ever experienced in a race car,” McMillen said. “It really made me think about my career and how tough it would be to give up something I love so much. The interaction I have with our fans and our marketing partners is priceless. I’ve certainly learned to appreciate every opportunity I have to be around the race track.”
For 2007, McMillen has teamed up with Foley and Lewis and races the Torco Nitro Top Fuel Dragster with teammate Doug Foley. “I guess everything happens for a reason,” McMillen said. “Having an opportunity to compete on a team like this with Evan’s support is unbelievable. Doug and Tim have assembled a great team here. It’s not often that a driver can step in and know that they will be in contention for a championship. That’s the kind of team that we have.”
McMillen knows that making the field in Rockingham isn’t going to be easy. Four of the top 10 fastest fields in IHRA history were set at Rockingham, including both races at the Rock in 2006 (’06 Spring Nationals #3 and ’06 World Finals #7).
“Rockingham is an extremely fast track,” McMillen said. “Steve Earwood and his staff do a great job at that facility. I expect the field will be as fast and as tight as ever before. I’ve got the best crew in the business. All I have to do is hit the loud peddle and keep it between the stripes, they’ll get us in the show.”
Qualifying for the Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam begins Friday, April 20th and ends during Saturday’s Night of Fire. Eliminations begin Sunday.