BRISTOL, Tenn. – “I love this place. There’s something about it that makes my short list of favorite places to drag race. It’s just as unique as it gets when it comes to a special place to race.” Terry McMillen doesn’t usually come up short on adjectives, this weekend’s Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals may only be different for the Amalie Oil/UNOH Top Fuel driver because he’ll have more to talk about.
McMillen’s Elkhart, Ind. based Hoosier Thunder Motorsports will field two Top Fuel entries this weekend, his gator-themed dragster will be accompanied by a similar gator-themed dragster driven by his 24-year-old car-chief Austin Lambright. “This is something we’ve been planning for awhile,” McMillen explained. “Part of what we like to do is over deliver for our marketing partners. This is something we want to do for everyone that supports our program – get them more exposure. Plus, Austin has worked so hard to help grow this team to where we’re at today. Our team has always been about supporting the future of our sport and we certainly believe that Austin is part of the future NHRA.”
McMillen is currently 10th in the Top Fuel points standings and in the midst of what is shaping up as a five car fight for the 10th and final spot in the Countdown. “I’ve had more than a few people tell me I was crazy for bringing out a second car right now,” McMillen said. “We certainly don’t want this to be a distraction in our quest to get in the countdown. But at the end of the day, this will be a great thing for our marketing partners and that’s really what this is all about.”
McMillen’s two car team will also receive support this weekend from Grindstaff Ford who will supply the teams with tow vehicles. “Ford is obviously a big part of this race,” McMillen said. “So having the support of a great dealership like Grindstaff means a lot. Plus they’re big race fans. I can’t wait to put both of these cars in the field for them and all of our sponsors.”
McMillen will also spend Thursday, at the Country Club of Bristol to support Speedway Children’s Charity in a golf outing.
ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 7 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, June 18. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours and 30 minutes of eliminations coverage beginning at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, June 19.