CONCORD, N.C. – After several more decent qualifying attempts at the zMAX Dragway, Terry McMillen and his Amalie Oil/UNOH team find themselves in the same position on Sunday – saddled with their third consecutive first round lost.“It’s certainly frustrating,” McMillen explained. “But I’ve never left a race this confident.” And for good reason.
McMillen qualified his Top Fuel ride consistently during the weekend including a 3.874 elapsed time in the fourth qualifying session. While the run was good enough to put him in the 11th spot for the 4-Wide race, it was what the team learned that gave McMillen confidence in the losing effort on Sunday.
“The car ran an eighty-seven and we dropped six cylinders right at the end of the run. So we knew we had a strange problem,” McMillen said. “As it turns out we’ve been having an electrical problem – maybe since Pomona, that was intermittent and never really showed itself until it dropped all of those holes at once. We had MSD test some things and found that we had a short to the ground. Our guys worked late on Saturday to fix the problem, but it ended up giving us more power than we had all weekend and we just didn’t compensate enough for that on Sunday morning. So, while the car was wanting to run something like an eighty-one or eighty-two (3.81 or 3.82), it just gave us a little more power than we thought we would have; so the car started spinning the tires pretty hard on the big end.”
“The bottom line is our tune-up and motor is back to what we had in West Palm Beach testing and that excites me. We’ll be frustrated for a little bit and kick ourselves for not figuring this out a little earlier, but we’re biting at the bit to get this Amalie/UNOH Top Fuel Dragster to Houston to see what we can do.”
The next stop for McMillen is the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, Tex. April 29-May1.