Terry’s third attempt at qualifying for an NHRA event was another success. The Amalie Oil / Wolverine Boots & Apparel dragster improved with each attempt (16th in 2008 Atalanta, 13th in 2008 Vegas and 12th in 2009 Gainesville). Now if the team could just scratch out a round win or two everyone would be happier.
“We changed everything on this car,” McMillen said. “We’ve got a few more bugs to work out, but I’m confident Kuch will have us among the front runners before too long.”
The 40th annual Gatornationals was the first for McMillen as a driver and Florida Gator fans loved the Amalie gator-themed hot rod. Not only was the car a hit, but team jerseys were popular also.
“We almost needed a police escort,” McMillen laughed. “People we offering to buy our crew jerseys – and they kept raising the ante. It was tempting to consider, but we’ve got some people working on a special jersey for the fans. Plus, we were out of hero cards on Saturday. Gainesville is a madhouse of great drag racing fans. I can’t wait until next year.”
McMillen’s car was also featured on the front page of Thursday’s edition of the Gainesville Sun. The caption for the large photo read “Charlie Matero and Austin Lambright work on the Amalie Oil-Wolverine top fuel dragster Wednesday in preparation for this weekend’s Gatornationals.” The article continued on page 6 with another large photo inside the transporter.
Phil Burgess is the editor of National Dragster – the NHRA house publication. He keeps a notebook from each event and mentioned Terry in it along with others.
Here’s an excerpt:
…Back to Twitter for a moment. It has been interesting to see some of the NHRA race teams that are early adopters of the tool, including John Force Racing, Kalitta Motorsports, and Terry McMillen.
Force publicist Elon Werner is far and away the most prolific tweeter out there, sharing the latest snippets about the progress of the four Force drivers, links to articles about them, and more. Werner also was instrumental in the Twitter live chat that Ashley Force Hood took part in Friday on the FordRacing Twitter page.
Werner also was behind an interesting stunt at the track. He sent out a tweet to all of his followers (more than 900!) telling them to meet at the Force Racing compound in an hour. An hour later, he sent out another tweet looking for any of the followers who had caught his earlier message on their cell phones. Melissa Waterman shot up her hand first, and, as a reward, the Rhode Island resident, on her first trip to Gainesville Raceway, earned a personal visit with Ashley.
McMillen, who qualified for Top Fuel, tried a similar experiment from his Amalie Oil pit but didn’t give any advance warning. He just tweeted that the first two followers to come to his pit would receive a stuffed alligator, the team mascot. Both were gone within a few minutes. “I love it,” said McMillen. “It really goes to show you the power of the new technology.”
You can read the entire story at NHRA.com here (http://www.nhra.com/blog/dragster-insider/)