SAN ANTONIO, Texas (April 10, 2008) – The Amalie Oil Top Fuel Dragster, powered by Torco Race Fuels and driven by Terry McMillen, made its Nitro Jam debut during the season opening event hosted at the San Antonio Raceway. The newly assembled team, led by crew chef John Smith, made the most of their opportunities, finishing the event with a final round appearance. A broken throttle cable would end McMillen’s hopes of capturing his third career Iron Man.
“We can’t be disappointed,” McMillen said after the race. “I would have loved to been in the winners circle at an Amalie race to collect a trophy, but this was a great weekend for our team. We had basically a brand new car and a brand new crew. These guys worked hard and did a great job to get us to the final round.”
While John Smith was disappointed with the finish, he felt the weekend was a success. He spoke with CompetitionPlus.com shortly after the race. Ã¢â‚¬Å“That was really the first mistake [throttle cable] that we made all weekend so we put a good effort up for Terry, Amalie Oil and NAPA Auto Parts,Ã¢â‚¬Â Smith added. “Terry has worked really hard to put the deal together. We made it to the final round so it was a pretty good weekend all in all. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got a good baseline. All the guys were working well together and little things like this will happen. You win as a team and you lose as a team so that’s what it’s about.”
Smith faced his father and fellow crew chef Paul Smith in the final round. with Dad earning the family bragging rights until the next race. “I’m really proud of my dad and everything that we’ve done and learned from him,” John told CompetitionPlus.com. “To go up against each other, I wish I had a shot but I didn’t. I’ll have a shot this year I know it. This is a championship team and we’ve got to grow into it and keep working hard at making everything happen. We just need some time to gel.”
McMillen made his usual media and appearance tour during the week with stops at area NAPA Auto Parts Stores, Academy Sports & Outdoors and several radio interviews. Besides unveiling the new Amalie dragster, McMillen was excited to give fans a sneak peak at a new relationship. “The official announcement will be out in the next week or so, but IHRA fans are getting the first chance to enter the ‘Trick My Crew’ contest,” McMillen explained.
“Trick My Crew” is a sweepstakes promoting the hit CMT television show Trick My Truck and the new Trick My Truck online community at MyTruck.CMT.com. The winner will become part of McMillen’s Amalie Oil Top Fuel and Amalie Oil InstiGator Funny Car crew at the IHRA World Finals in Rockingham this October. Fans can enter and join the online community by visiting MyTruck.CMT.com or at McMillen’s pit at any Nitro Jam events in 2008.
“This is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities,” McMillen said. I can’t think of any other form of motorsports that would give a fan this kind of chance. We’re really excited about it.”
“There’s so many people that help put this race team together and helped make this race a success, I’m not sure where to start,” McMillen said. “Paradise RV & Coach and Rob and Kim Reeves did everything possible to make sure that we had a truck and trailer for this top fuel team. Then when we get to the race, Ancira Chevy provides us when the best tow vehicles and Ancira RV provided the top fuel team with a place to sleep in one of their beautiful American Eagles. Besides that we’re blessed with relationships with NGK, Crane Cams, Flatout Gaskets to name just a few. Plus, Gary and Steve at NAPA always treat us like family. Texas in April just feels like home for us.”
Next stop for McMillen is the IHRA Spring Nationals in Rockingham, NC. April 18-20.