BAYTOWN, Tex. (April 23, 2017) – After a spectacular explosion and crash during the 2016 NHRA SpringNationals, Terry McMillen driver of the AMALIEⓇ Motor Oil XTERMIGATORⓇ Top Fuel Dragster was as happy as one could expect after a relatively close, but uneventful loss to Doug Kalitta in the opening round of the 2017 race contested this weekend.
“All in all it was a pretty good weekend,” McMillen explained. “We got a little behind in our qualifying efforts on Friday. It was good to get that first pass down the right lane behind us. We had a little issue with the number 5 intake on that pass and for just a second that thought runs through your mind – ‘here we go again’, but all of the adjustments that Rob Wendland and this crew has made did their job and everything came back in one piece. I knew everything was going to be O.K. after that.”
“Our motor has never been this happy,” McMillen continued. “Everything is right that needs to be right. We’ve just got to make it (the engine) manageable. It’s a monster right now.”
In the first round of eliminations McMillen was able to take a starting line advantage with a .071 second reaction time to Kalitta’s .093 seconds. McMillen made his quickest pass of the weekend with a 3.833 to Kalitta’s 3.761.
“We knocked the porcelain off of one of the spark plugs 3.3 seconds into the run,” McMillen explained. “We might have run a 79 (3.79 seconds) – probably not enough to catch Doug (Kalitta) on that run – but we could have made it an even closer race than it already was.”
“We made a lot of new friends in Houston. It almost felt like Gainesville with all of the friends and fans that came to see us. Of course we would have liked to gone more rounds and won the race – but we’ve got some things figured out for Charlotte and I’m really looking forward to the Four-Wides.”
McMillen remains ninth in points after the Houston event – just eight points behind Troy Coughlin Jr.
The next stop on the NHRA Mello Yello tour is the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina, April 28-30. For more information visit NHRA.com