St. Louis, Mo. (September 23, 2015) – A catastrophic intake explosion at the Charlotte race this past Sunday had NHRA Top Fuel driver Terry McMillen contemplating his future due to the escalating cost of the oil down penalty. Now, just a few days later, McMillen has a new plan that starts in St. Louis this weekend at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals.
Inspired by fans, sponsors, crew chiefs, fellow team owners and NHRA executives, McMillen feels focused and ready to finish the season on a high note.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for the words of encouragement this week,” McMillen said. “It really shows how much we all love this sport and how much we want to see things improve for teams and fans.”
“I also think we should all thank NHRA executives for their interest in exploring alternatives and willingness to address the oil down penalties. The new policy, which includes an open line of communication between all crew chiefs and the Safety Safari should prove to further reduce oil downs and more importantly for us, reduce the kind of explosions that stress team budgets. The NHRA is proving that we all have the same goals, make a better show for the fans and keep drag racing competitive and safe for everyone. I also want to specifically thank Peter Clifford and Graham Light for their efforts to work with all race teams. I believe their efforts exemplify NHRA’s commitment to taking our sport to the next level. I’m excited about our future.”
Crew Chief Rob Wendland and Assistant Crew Chief Bob Peck for the AMALIEⓇ Motor Oil INSTIGATOR Top Fuel team continued their quest to make the team a contender. Wendland had a conversation with Jim Head, John Boyce and Tom Shelar about a two-piece intake manifold that Chad Head had been testing on his Funny Car.
“This manifold is designed to be one large burst panel instead of trying to contain the explosion within the manifold,” Wendland said. “We’ll be the first dragster to use it. We want to do whatever we can to contain oil in these types of events. But, we also need to keep the intake manifold from flying off the car and potentially cutting a tire or hitting a fellow racer or flying into the grandstands. We hope this new two-piece manifold addresses these issues.”
McMillen will be in St. Louis on Thursday for the Fan Festival from 4PM-7PM at ‘The Outfield’ Mike Shannon’s on 7th and Market Street in downtown St. Louis.