McLeansboro,IL (February 14, 2017) – Clay Millican and the Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH Top Fuel dragster qualified strong before making an early exit at the 2017 Circle K Nationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona this past weekend.

All eyes were on the sky for qualifying. Rain was forecasted for both Friday and Saturday. On Friday Top Fuel teams were only able to make one qualifying pass before rain started falling. Tire smoke right off the starting line prevented the team from getting in a good pass.

After morning showers on Saturday, Top Fuel dragsters were able to get in two qualifying passes. On Q3 Millican double-stepped off the line, but still ran an impressive 3.815 E.T. at 313.95 mph. In Q4, Millican had his hands full driving in a wild ride that made all the highlight reels. The dragster drifted and almost crossed the centerline and went sideways.

“The car went into a shake right away and it needed to be pedaled, but that wouldn’t give us a good elapsed time. So I just stayed with it hoping the shake would clear up, but it didn’t,” said Millican. “It finally went into smoke then it just slid out a bit because I stayed with it a bit too long. It actually looked more exciting that it really was in the car.”

Qualifying in the No. 10 position, Millican faced Terry McMillen in Round One. They were the first pair down the track at the first race of the season. Off the start the Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH dragster appeared to lose cylinders and the engine let go at the end. Some oil was spilled on the track and Millican was penalized five points.

“We only did that [oil-down] once all last season, so that’s disappointing,” Millican said. “But at least we got this year’s only oil-down out of the way early in the season.”

After race one of 24, Millican is No. 14 in points in Top Fuel. Next up for the team: The NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix, AZ on February 24 – 26, 2017 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. The team spent the first week of February testing there and is excited to head back.

“We can’t wait to get back out there in two weeks. This is going to be a great year for our fans and all our sponsors, I guarantee ya,” said Millican.