CHARLOTTE: During the off-week following the NHRA Summit Nationals in Las Vegas, Clay Millican took the time to speak to a young group of Memphis school students about the importance of driver safety. The irony was not lost on the popular Parts Plus driver.

“Obviously, interacting with young people is one of those things I really enjoy, but I do have to wonder if they’re thinking, ‘This guy is telling us to be safe behind the wheel when he drives 320 miles per hour every weekend? Hmmm.’”

This week, class is back in session for Millican and his new team, led by crew chief Jimmy Walsh, as they strive to find the right combination of parts and pieces to send the Parts Plus dragster consistently down the racetrack in Charlotte.

“Every week, there are so many different ways that things could go,” Millican said. “It certainly is a magic combination when it all comes together. I guess you could say it’s a continuing education.”

Lining up four-wide Friday in lane two in Q1 at zMax Dragway against former teammate Bob Vandergriff, Terry McMillen and Richie Crampton, the Parts Plus driver showed a glimpse of the magic that made Millican a championship contender in the 2013 campaign.

Bolstered by the addition to the team of a new clutch expert from London and a stronger clutch fresh back from the manufacturer, Millican left the line strong and ended up with the best time of the quad despite having to shut the engine off early. Millican’s 3.90 at 270 mph earned the team the 4th qualifying slot at the end of round one Friday. The Parts Plus dragster’s Q1 incremental times: 60 ft–0.859 sec.; 330 ft–2.162; and 660 ft–3.080 @ 275.28 mph.

The Parts Plus team struggled in Q2, shaking the tires early to send Millican to 12th at the end of Friday’s qualifying. The Parts Plus team will regroup and attempt to send Millican to the head of the class when qualifying resumes Saturday at the 4 Wide Nationals.

Order after 2 rounds of Top Fuel qualifying at the 5th annual Four-Wide Nationals as part of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Series:


 Driver                                    Vehicle                        ET   Speed

1. Shawn Langdon                Al-Anabi Racing         3.753  323.35

2. J.R. Todd                            Optima/Advance        3.781  325.06

3. Khalid alBalooshi               Al-Anabi Racing         3.793  324.98

4. Brittany Force                     Castrol Edge              3.800  325.61

5. Tony Schumacher             U.S. Army                   3.815  321.73

6. Doug Kalitta                        Mac Tools                   3.816  322.42

7. Steve Torrence                  Capco Contactors     3.818  322.81

8. Antron Brown                     Matco Tools               3.823  319.45

9. Spencer Massey               Battery Extender        3.827  321.42

10. Pat Dakin                          Commercial Metal      3.841  313.15

11. Leah Pritchett                   Gumout/Dote              3.856  318.77

12. Clay Millican                     Parts Plus                   3.904  270.54