Pomona, CA (November 12, 2017) – In a year when Clay Millican earned his first NHRA race win, earned the pole qualifying position five times and set the national elapsed time record, he finished out the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in sixth place at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona.
“Coming into the year we wanted to be in the Top 5. So our goal all year was: bonus points, bonus points, bonus points. We did that a lot. Unfortunately, we just missed our goal of top five, but we’ll take sixth place. Everyone worked so hard and I am so proud of this team for getting us here.”
Millican drove the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster to an elapsed time of 3.671 at 328.22 mph.
“We came out here to Pomona and qualified incredibly well. We were the second quickest car essentially every lap down the race track. We actually had to miss one qualifying run, but we came back Q4 and put a run down that was just incredible. We racked up nine bonus points,” Milican said.
In Round One, Millican came up against Shawn Reed. It ended up being a pedalfest, with both drivers spinning their tires and having to get their dragsters under control. Millican took the win: 4.941/266.16 to 10.318/83.93. In Round Two, Millican raced Doug Kalitta. It was an extremely close race with Kalitta getting the win: 3.687/330.96 to 3.698/328.38.
“We go out there first round today and it was a little tricky for the driver. We had to do a little work to get to the finish line. For some reason we spun the tires, but we were able to get the win light,” Millican said. “Then we go up against Doug Kalitta who is one of the baddest dudes out here. We lost one heck of a drag race. Three thousandth of a second at the finish line; it was an incredible race. You hate to ever lose, but its way better than losing second round because you smoked the tires or something like that.”
At the end of race day, Millican ended up No. 6 in points. This is the second time he finished out the NHRA season is the sixth position.
“I’m just so proud of this whole team. We always talk about these young guys. They went this entire season without us having to abort a run for anything they did wrong. No mistakes made which is incredible. We went this entire season without a crew failure which is just unbelievable,” said Millican. “This season speaks volumes of this group of people that we have here on this car. David Grubnic has proven he is one of the best crew chiefs in the business. I mean we’re the national record holder and Mac Savage has done a great job making sure the car’s ready to go and gives Grubby that sounding board for all of his ideas. And wow, what a team.”
For team owner Doug Stringer, this was an amazing year. “These guys… We set a lot of goals at the beginning of the year and accomplished almost all of them. I couldn’t be prouder of everyone here and their work and look forward going into next year.”
Looking ahead to 2018 Millican had this to say about his team and has a message for the competition. “It was a heck of a year for this team. You know, we’re really coming into our own. Third year of this operation, single car… these dudes are awesome. The rest of the NHRA world better be looking out next year is all I can say.”
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS (Final)
|POSITION||DRIVER||POINTS||POINTS BEHIND LEADER||VEHICLE|
|01||Brittany Force||2690||0||Monster Energy Top Fuel Dragster|
|02||Steve Torrence||2609||-81||Capco Racing/Torrence Motorsports|
|03||Doug Kalitta||2553||-137||Mac Tools Dragster|
|04||Antron Brown||2508||-182||Matco Tools Dragster|
|05||Leah Pritchett||2452||-238||Papa John’s Dragster|
|06||Clay Millican||2419||-271||Parts Plus/ Great Clips/ UNOH dragster|
|07||Shawn Langdon||2406||-284||Global Electronic Technology Dragster|
|08||Tony Schumacher||2395||-295||U.S. Army Dragster|
|09||Terry McMillen||2310||-380||Amalie Motor Oil Dragster|
|10||Scott Palmer||2218||-472||Marck Industries/Tommy Thompson Motorsports|