Clay Millican / Stringer Performance Fast Facts CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Phoenix, AZ

Stringer Performance Fast Facts

 

Millican records career fastest time at Winternationals…

 Clay Millican and the Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster were flying at the NHRA Mello Yello Series opener in Pomona. Millican recorded the quickest time of his career, a 3.724 second run at 327 mph, in a first-round win during Sunday’s eliminations. The quick run on Sunday topped Millican’s 3.729-second run at 319 mph on the same track in November’s season finale, bolstering the team’s confidence they can push the envelope even further this year.

 

Testing, Testing 1.2.3….

The Stringer Performance team spent a lot of time during the off season working the numbers, and dialing in the 2016 Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster to be one of the most competitive cars in the field this year. A successful test session in Phoenix three weeks ago has the team feeling very optimistic in their chances of contending for the win in this weekend’s CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals.

 

Millican in the top half of the pack for championship points race…

Clay Millican may not have walked away from the Winternats with a Wally, but he did achieve one goal for the weekend. After the racing was done, Millican and his Stringer Performance team found themselves sitting in fifth place out of fifteen racers in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Championship Point Standings.

 

Quote from Clay Millican going into this weekend’s event in Phoenix…

“It’s been a long time since I’ve left Pomona at the beginning of the season feeling this good about a race car and a race team. This thing is so fast! It just kept running fast over and over again all weekend. I’m excited because I know the Parts Plus/Great Clips team is going to have a great year. We had a really great test session at the Phoenix track a couple of weeks ago and I believe the knowledge that we gained from that test is going to translate into success for us this weekend.”

 

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its second year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner, and general manager Lance Larsen. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

Clay Millican Illustrates NHRA’s Dr. Surface Racer Exercises

Rocket Man: Parts Plus/Great Clips Driver Clay Millican Records Quickest Career Time in 1st-Round Win at Pomona

POMONA, CALIF., February 14, 2016: The Parts Plus/Great Clips Top Fuel team picked up right where they left off in 2015, as Clay Millican recorded the quickest time of his career with a 3.724 @ 327 mph in a first-round win at Sunday’s NHRA Mello Yello Series opener in Pomona.

Sunday’s first-round time topped Millican’s 3.729 @ 319 mph on the same track in November’s season finale, bolstering the team’s confidence they can push the envelope even further this year.

“Man, that Parts Plus/Great Clips car was just a rocket ship out there—an absolute rocket ship,” Millican says. “We ran like crazy and ran with some big speed on that first-round run. Everything was there. I was thinking, ‘Wow! This thing’s really getting after it.’”

Officially, Millican’s time beat Leah Pritchett’s 4.857 @ 150.93 to notch the team’s initial round win of the 2016 season. Millican’s incremental times were impressive as well: 60ft—0.833 sec.; 330ft—2.116; and 660ft—3.002 @ 286.13 mph.

Most important, the Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster ran strong all weekend in qualifying, with the exception of an unexpected front-end problem that veered the car abruptly toward the left during Saturday’s qualifying sessions. Nonetheless, Millican ran a 3.786 in Q3 and a 3.727 in Q4, good enough to qualify the Parts Plus/Great Clips team fifth heading into Sunday.

The team had changed the front wings on the dragster, which might have affected the downforce of the car during qualifying. After doing a little checking and measuring following Q4, the team discovered the front end was out of alignment, which was odd.

“We had encountered the same problem during testing in Phoenix,” Millican explains, “so we made some adjustments. Sure enough, the same kind of stuff was going on in first round on Sunday. I could actually see it when I was backing up, because the front wheels turned inward a lot, making the car really difficult to back up.”

Millican and the team’s “star substitute teacher,” longtime Funny Car driver Jack Wyatt, confirmed that front end was off again. After briefly considering changing out all the front-end pieces, Millican and Wyatt opted to just correct the alignment due to time issues.

With an enthusiastic hospitality crowd looking on Sunday, including Automotive Distribution Network president David Prater and vice president of marketing Bob Barstow, DENSO executives and guests, as well as customers from LA-based Network member Fast Undercar, crew chief David Grubnic prepared the car to run a 3.75 or 3.76 for the second-round matchup with the always-fast Lucas car of Richie Crampton.

Unfortunately, the team’s day was cut short when the Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster smoked the tires just before the 330-ft mark. Millican and Grubnic each tried to take the blame, with the other having none of it.

“You’re supposed to leave the starting line in an absolute dead idle, and I kind of crept on the pedal a little bit and brought it just slightly above idle,” Millican says. “Grubby [Grubnic] told me that had zero to do with with us spinning the tires and that he was just a little too aggressive. I told him it’s all of us out there—this a team effort. When we win, we all win, and win we lose, we do it as a team. We left the starting line really well, and we actually were faster at 60 foot than the Lucas car was, but in the end we just got beat.”

Although he dislikes losing, Millican was extremely upbeat when looking at the big picture.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve left Pomona at the beginning of the season feeling this good about a racecar and a race team. This thing is so fast! It just kept running fast over and over again all weekend. I’m excited because I know the Parts Plus/Great Clips team is going to have a great year.”

Top Fuel points after season-opening Winternationals at Pomona:
1. Steve Torrence – 126
2. Doug Kalitta – 94
3. Richie Crampton – 77
4. J.R. Todd – 72
5. Clay Millican – 57
6. Morgan Lucas – 52
7. Antron Brown – 48
8. Terry McMillen – 46
9. Tony Schumacher – 42
10. Brittany Force – 37

Next Race: The NHRA Arizona Nationals from Phoenix will air live on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 5 p.m. ET on FS1.

Clay Millican/ Stringer Performance Fast Facts Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, CA

 

Millican and Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster impress at NHRA testing…

 Stringer Performance crew chief David Grubnic didn’t slow down during the off-season. Grubnic, who is entering his second season tuning, devoted a lot of time to pouring over data collected throughout last season from the Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster. He then began formulating a new plan for the 2016 season which met with a lot of success last week at testing in Phoenix.

Grubnic and Millican had planned early shutoffs for almost the entire week of testing to push various scenarios under their new tuning plan. In turn, the Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster put up incredible incremental numbers on each day of testing for the team. Their one and only run on the last day of testing saw Millican executing an early shutoff just past half-track, and the Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster crossing the timeline with the second fastest time of the day – a 3.739 at 280.89mph! It’s going to be a GREAT year of racing!

 

Stringer Performance upgrades sponsor hospitality experience…

After completing his first season of NHRA racing, Stringer Performance team owner Doug Stringer had a few goals for the off-season. One of the priorities for 2016 was to bring an even better hospitality experience to his sponsors and special guests at the track.

This year the Stringer Performance hospitality will feature two dedicated screens with sponsor-centered digital signage and a custom race-specific video that will highlight sponsors, the Stringer Performance team and NHRA racing. Hospitality director Diana Hurst has also brought in specialty branded water bottles to highlight the team’s primary sponsors Parts Plus and Great Clips and has expanded the team’s hospitality seating area with the purchase of additional permanent tenting.

 

Stringer Performance welcomes four new crew members for 2016 season…

Fans can expect to see a few new faces in the Stringer Performance pit this year. Nick Falcon and Matt Covault joined the team to fill two positions vacated on the pit crew during the off season. David Wheeler and Paul Elliot have joined the team in the hospitality department to assist in creating an even better experience for Stringer Performance guests in the 2016 season. The entire Stringer Performance team is happy to have these guys on board for an incredible year of racing.

 

Quote from Clay Millican on the start of the 2016 season…

I can’t wait to get started after running so well in testing. It made me very excited and anxious to get this season going. We’ve got a year of team experience behind us and more information than we had last year at this time. We’ve got a fresh race car with fresh crew members, and I guess we’re just like a loaf of homemade bread – fresh & ready to go!

 

Quote from team owner Doug Stringer on the start of the 2016 season…

To say that I’m excited to get back to Pomona is an understatement. Last year, being our first, was an incredible experience and it went by so fast it’s almost a blur. I’m so proud of what we accomplished in our first year as a team. We faced a steep learning curve but with the tremendous talent and skill set we have with our veteran leaders Grubby, Lance and Clay combined, we achieved and surpassed a lot of the goals we had set for ourselves. Going into this second year, with the same core leadership group, we again have high expectations but we now also have the confidence to go along with those expectations and that’s the recipe for success. We have an amazing lineup of partners in Parts Plus, Great Clips, UNOH, Valvoline, Weld Wheels, and some of our local Southern Illinois sponsors like Peoples National Bank have all made this possible. We really look forward to sharing this 2016 season with them.

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its second year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner, and general manager Lance Larsen. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

Putting It to the Test: Parts Plus/Great Clips Dragster Ready to Roll in 2016

Putting It to the Test
Clay Millican, Parts Plus/Great Clips Dragster Ready to Roll in 2016

PHOENIX, February 4, 2016: Clay Millican drove the Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster only 60 feet Wednesday, but it was the first step of a long journey for the Stringer Performance team, with the first Top Fuel race of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Series a little over a week away in Pomona.

“It was just a short blast to make sure everything’s functioning on the car,” Millican says. “The car is freshly front-halved, so we wanted to make sure everything was good there. We’re not making making any full runs this week because we can get all the information we need from the incremental times. Our incremental numbers last year in the early part of the run were incredible. So we’re working to push that envelope and make them even better yet. The game plan is to move forward.”

The Parts Plus/Great Clips team faced their first challenge of the year Wednesday when they were greeted by early-morning 30ish-degree temps, unusually low for Phoenix. More cool weather is expected for Millican’s three scheduled test runs Thursday, but the crew is ready to roll so they can collect as much data as possible—information that’s vital for the single-car Stringer Performance team.

“It warmed up as the day went on, but we’re not used to racing when it’s 55 degrees,” Millican says. “Thursday our plan is to make sure the Parts Plus/Great Clips car goes past the 330-ft mark without any tire shake. Again, the incremental numbers will tell us everything we’re looking for. The cool air is unfortunate, but we’ll do whatever it takes to get our runs in with whatever weather conditions we’re dealt, and we’ll learn from them.”

Although it’s hard to gauge their progress from a single 60-ft run, Millican is nonetheless pleased with how well the 2016 Parts Plus/Great Clips team is coming together. And yep, he says, it was great to be back in the saddle again.

“[Wednesday] was productive in the sense that we used it as kind of an orientation day. We’ve got a couple of new people, and we needed them to get up to speed without the pressure of making multiple runs in a single day, so we accomplished that. And the car felt great—it fit me like a glove.”

Although Millican doesn’t downplay the importance of making a statement in Pomona next week, he’s more focused on ensuring the Parts Plus/Great Clips team is ranked in the top 10 at the end of Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis. The team won’t be satisfied with anything less than a playoff run in the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

“We still need to get that first win out of the way, and I’d love for Pomona to be the place, but really, we’re aiming for those last six races of the year. In the meantime, we’re gonna work to get ourselves in that championship hunt.”