Joliet, IL (July 9, 2017) – Clay Millican drove the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster to the semifinals at the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N. Qualifying for Millican was full of challenges and it came down to the wire.
On Friday, there were ignition problems that prevented the dragster from making a full pass down the race track. Millican was in the No.17 spot out of 17 Top Fuel dragsters. On Saturday during the third qualifying session, the car smoked the tires right off the starting line. Millican went into the fourth qualifying session not in the field. Crew Chief David Grubnic was confident he had a plan to get him qualified.
“Grubby tells me he had the dragster tuned to run a .78 or .80 and we would get ourselves qualified and not to worry about it. When I stand on the gas, at about 330 feet I had the biggest smile on my face! I thought: this thing ain’t running 3.80,” confessed Millican. And he was right. Millican ended up racing to an elapsed time of 3.739 at 325.22 mph and that put him in the No. 3 qualifying spot going into race day.
In Round One Millican raced Kyle Wurtzel. It was a close race, but Millican took home the win: 3.813/323.81 to 3.906/300.80. Round Two Millican came up against Shawn Langdon. Langdon had a slight starting line advantage but Millican captured the win: 3.888/314.61 to 3.909/309.91.
In the semifinals Millican came up against Antron Brown. The Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio dragster smoked the tires, while Brown had a clean pass. Brown won the round: 3.784/325.53 to 4.689/154.64.
“Antron put a whooping on us. The tires got loose on the car and he killed me on the tree,” Millican said. “But it was another semifinal finish for us and I’m proud of how hard my team worked this weekend.”
Millican leaves Joliet seventh in the Top Fuel 2017 National Championship Standings. The next race for the team is the 2017 Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver, July 21 thru 23.