LAS VEGAS, NV (April 2, 2017) – Extreme weather in Las Vegas this week created some tricky track conditions for Clay Millican in the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster.
On Thursday afternoon the strongest windstorm to hit Las Vegas in five years wreaked havoc all over town causing power outages, toppling trees and at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, covering the track in sand.
“The track has been obviously challenging. It has nothing to do with the work of NHRA Safety Safari; they do an awesome job. But they can’t prep a track better than Mother Nature can mess one up. Thanks to Thursday’s 70 mph winds and sand storm, it was tricky out there,” Millican said.
Millican came into race day qualified sixth with an elapsed time of 3.781 seconds at 323.74 mph. It was actually his first run of the weekend that scored his best run and helped him hold on to a spot in the top of the field.
In the first round, Millican was up against Tripp Tatum. Tatum had a slight starting line advantage, but Millican got the win with a 4.057/230.84 to Tatum’s 10.253/77.26.
“We knew we were racing the Lagana car and we know that their car can pretty much go down anything. Our goal was to go down the track and win,” Millican said. “The Lagana car smoked the tires on the step. I was just kind of going down thru there. Grubby saw a cylinder go out and he actually hit the crew chief shut off button on me. They made me scared until I coasted across the finish line.”
In Round Two Millican came up against Doug Kalitta, who had low E.T. of the first round. Millican smoked the tires just before half track and Kalitta took the win 3.778/106.24 to 4.913/153.51.
“We knew we were going to race Doug Kalitta and he was low E.T. of first round, but we still definitely felt confident we could step our car up a little bit,” Millican said. “We obviously lost lane choice and in my opinion, I’m not sure what Grubby will say, but I think lane choice for Top Fuel dragsters probably ended up being the deciding factor for who won second round. As it turns out, not a single Top Fuel dragster won from the right lane. There were some really good cars in the right lane.”
Clay leaves Las Vegas in the seventh spot of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Point Standings. That is one spot up from the previous race.
Next up for the Stringer Performance team is the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston April 21 – 23.