ELKHART, Ind. — For those that have had the privilege of attending a drag race and roamed the professional pits – they know there’s nothing like the whine of a starter turning over an 8,000 horsepower Nitro motor just before warm up. It puts a hop in your step and a tingle in your spine. Such is the case for McMillen and his crew as they thrash to get their motors and new parts ready for the 2009 campaign.
McMillen hasn’t announced his schedule, but he hears the motor tuning over now. “We’re trying to put the finishing touches on a couple of really cool new opportunities with our partners before we announce our schedule, but we didn’t want to wait any longer to announce some of our long time partners that will be with us again this season.”
In an off season that has kept McMillen busier than usual, he’s confident his Amalie Oil sponsored Top Fuel Dragster will be more competitive than ever. Veteran tuner, Doug Kuch consulted the team to 5 final round appearances, 2 wins and position in the NHRA’s fastest field in Las Vegas last season. He will be the teams crew-chief for the entire 2009 campaign.
“Doug is one of the top tuners in this sport,” McMillen said. “We’re really lucky to have him on our side.” McMillen is also excited about the return of his crew. “We’ve got a group of guys that are dedicated and hard working. They’re some of the best in the business. We have one of the most relaxed atmosphere’s in drag racing. We work hard. But our guys all like each other and get along. It makes the grind of a season that much better when you like the guys you work with.”
McMillen’s long-time friend, Mark Adelizzi, will have Flatout Gaskets
keeping everything sealed up on the dragster. While Roy “the Pope”
Griffth’s Crane Cams keep everything tuning. Mindy Stephens will have
the crew guys outfitted with Ringers Gloves. NGK will provide the spark
needed and Clevite’s quality engineered bearing will be used on the top
performing dragster. Impact Racing will keep McMillen safe and Paradise
RV & Coach will keep the team going up and down the road in style.
“It’s really a team effort,” McMillen said from his race shop. “It
takes a lot of dedicated partners to keep this show on the road. Their
continuing support in this economy is a huge deal. Amalie Oil provides
the major funding, but we couldn’t do it without all of our associates
“We want to improve on our performance from a year ago and these partners have all given us the tools to go out and do that.”