Clay Millican/ Stringer Performance Fast Facts DENSO Iridium TT Nationals in Las Vegas, NV

Stringer Performance Fast Facts

 

 

2016 Season

  • 2nd in standings
  • 3 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 #1 qualifier
  • 0 finals
  • 2 semi-finals
  • 3 round two appearances
  • 3 round one appearances

 

 

NHRA Career

  • 222 career starts
  • 0 wins
  • 2 #1 qualifiers
  • 3.722 best E.T.
  • 327.27 best speed

Busy Week for Millican as He Prepares to Drive DENSO-Sponsored Dragster at Denso Iridium TT Nationals…

For the second time in his career, Clay Millican will drive a DENSO sponsored car in support of a DENSO event. Millican will begin his busy week in Vegas with a NHRA press conference on Thursday followed by a fun evening that includes racing against 32 DENSO executives at The Strip and a special sponsor dinner.

Things don’t slow down there! After Q1 on Friday, Millican will participate in a Club Nitro Q&A for fans followed by the DENSO welcome reception after Q2. On Saturday, Millican will host Nitro School at his Stringer Performance pit area for race fans beginning at 11am. Millican will close out his weekend of extra track activities at the Seal Master Track Walk on Sunday morning.

 

Grubnic’s New Wheels…

Clay Millican pulled off the surprise of a lifetime for his crew chief, David Grubnic (Grubby), at the Gatornationals two weeks ago by gifting him a brand new set of wheels for the track. Fans have become used to seeing Grubby’s little maroon scooter zip between the DENSO/Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH pit and the starting line. However, now he’ll be riding in style on a new dirt bike that Millican had wrapped to match the team’s golf carts.  The gift was presented to Grubby complete with a big bow courtesy of Millican’s wife, Donna.

 

Millican Can’t Stop in the Shop…

During the off-week it was business as usual for the Stringer Performance crew at their shop in McLeansboro, IL until the man himself, Clay Millican, walked thru the door. Millican spent a day at home in Drummonds, TN before the itch to get back to his DENSO/Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH dragster was too much and he had to head North.

Millican spent his time in the shop applying new decals and making sure everything was in order for this week’s DENSO sponsorship in Vegas. He also made time to sign some new Great Clips merchandise that will be used in their 5th of the month giveaway on Twitter. You can participate in the giveaway by following Great Clips at @GREATracing and see what to do on April 5th!

 

 

Quote from Clay Millican on the progress of the team and looking at Vegas…

“This team is doing a phenomenal job and I’m very excited about where we are right now in the season! The key thing we as a team have been working on is consistency at the track and back in the shop. Consistency is what put us 2nd in points and has allowed this team to gel so quickly. It’s also helped the boys get the kinks out faster in turning the car around, especially with the LIVE audience on FS1. There is no lag time in live TV and each race that timeclock has pushed this team to improve. I see improvements from every member of this team each week, and I can’t wait to see what we do this weekend in Vegas!

It is going to be a very exciting weekend for me to say the least. I have the chance to spend some extra time with our team sponsor and the event sponsor, DENSO. I’m going to do a little racing on Thursday night against 32 Denso executives in a drag race at the track and then a few other fun events over the weekend. I love to see them on my racecar and visiting us in the pit each year, but it’s even more special when such a great company becomes even more involved in the sport. I was really happy to see their event sponsorship for this weekend in Vegas and I know we’re going to have a great weekend of racing with them!”

Gator Ace: No. 2 Qualifier Clay Millican Races Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH Dragster to Semis at Gatornationals

Gainesville, Fla. (March 20, 2016) – Clay Millican and the Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH Top Fuel team continued their march toward the top spot in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello point standings with a semi-final appearance at Sunday’s 47th annual Gatornationals.

Millican finished Friday’s opening qualifying sessions in the 5th slot. The Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH driver went on to recover from a weird weather change in Q3 on Saturday to run a 3.722 in Q4, once again topping his quickest career time and momentarily seizing the No. 1 spot.

“In Q3, we were next to the last pair of cars to go, and we had been battling rain all day,” Millican says. “We had the Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH car set up to run 3.72, but by the time we got up there it had gone from a gloomy, overcast afternoon and turned into a sunny day. The way the weather turned so quickly, it was strange. We got up there and smoked the tires but we were able to get exactly what we were looking for in that fourth qualifying session. We just seem to keep picking away at that career-best time.”

Millican narrowly missed hanging onto the No. 1 qualifying position when Richie Crampton stepped up at the end of Q4 with a 3.698 @ 319.37. Still, Millican’s 326.71 mph made the Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH dragster the fastest if not the best car all weekend.

The popular Tennessee-native would square off in Sunday’s first round against No. 15 qualifier Ike Maier, who drives a limited schedule. Millican and crew chief David Grubnic didn’t take the matchup lightly, running a 3.757 to top Maier’s 3.920, as a large hospitality crowd of customers and UNOH VIP guests cheered on the team.

“We ran against a car that doesn’t run the whole season but that’s kind of a mixed bag of tricks,” Millican says. “Believe me, they want to do well because they’re not going to go to all the races—they make everything count. We ran a 3.75 which was a nice clean solid run. They kept us honest; if we had messed up even a bit, we might’ve been in trouble.”

Following the first round, the Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH crew changed the motor on the car as it was simply time to do so. Faced with running against J.R. Todd in the quarter-finals, Grubnic had the Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH car tuned to run a 3.77. Things didn’t exactly go according to plan, but Millican and the team managed to get away with one after the car put a cylinder out. Officially, Millican’s 3.911 beat Todd’s 4.155 to advance.

“It didn’t really make sense to us that it put a cylinder out because everything on that motor was all new after first round,” Millican says. “That new motor was down on power a bit and just didn’t rev up where it needed to. So for the semis, Grubby [Grubnic] compensated for that motor being a little weaker than usual— he added some blower to it and a little bit of compression which should have picked it up a little bit.”

It wasn’t enough as the Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH dragster smoked the tires in the third round. Terry McMillen took the win light with a 3.828.

“It’s very critical that when you step on the throttle, the engine rpm goes to the same place every time. With that particular motor, it was 200 rpm shorter than what it should have been on the second and third rounds. That motor, which is still good to go, will come out first thing Monday morning and get 100% diagnosed from one end to the other.”

Most important, Millican climbed two spots in the point standings, jumping from 4th to 2nd, just behind Brittany Force, who earned the first Top Fuel event victory of her career Sunday.

The weekend started off on a wonderful note for Millican on Thursday evening, when he helped induct fellow Tennessean Preston Davis into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Growing up in Memphis a huge racing guy, Millican always heard two names: Ray Godmand, who owned and tuned the Tennessee Bo-Weevil Nitro Funny Car, and his driver, Preston Davis.

“Sometimes when you meet somebody you grew up admiring, they don’t turn out to be who you thought they were. But Preston Davis exceeded my expectations as my hero growing up. He’s a good dude who I’ve enjoyed getting to know over the years. It was a really special honor.”

Next Race: April 1–3, 2016, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Top Fuel Point Standings

(Through Gainesville, Fla.)

 

  1. Brittany Force        251
  2. Clay Millican         210
  3. Doug Kalitta           205
  4. Steve Torrence         199
  5. Terry McMillen        178
  6. Leah Pritchett           166
  7. JR Todd                     157
  8. Tony Schumacher    155
  9. Richie Crampton      153
  10. Antron Brown           149

 

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, UNOH and Weld Racing.

 

Clay Millican / Stringer Performance Fast Facts: Amalie Gatornationals in Gainesville, FL

Stringer Performance Fast Facts

2016 Season Stats

  • 4th in standings
  • 2 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 #1 qualifier
  • 0 finals
  • 1 semi-finals
  • 2 round two appearances
  • 2 round one appearances

NHRA Career Stats

  • 221 career starts
  • 0 wins
  • 2 #1 qualifiers

 

Millican honoring a hometown hero…

 This Thursday Clay Millican will help induct his childhood hero Preston Davis, the famed Tennessee Bo-Weevil, into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Davis along with master tuner Ray Godman were based out of Memphis, TN (Millican’s hometown of Drummonds is just outside Memphis) and helped build the sport in the Southeastern U.S. and the lower Mississippi Valley. Their success created a lasting impression on a young Millican and helped lead him into his own incredible racing career.

 

Drive for a cause…

Before he suits up to drive the Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster this weekend, Clay Millican will be doing some driving of another kind…on the golf course. Millican will have the opportunity to participate in the Drag Racing Association of Women’s (DRAW) Annual Tracy Winters Memorial Golf Tournament on Wednesday, ahead of the Gatornationals. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the non-profit organization’s mission to provide financial and emotional support to qualified individuals involved in at-track drag racing accidents.

 

Weekend off? Nah…

Off-time isn’t in Clay Millican’s vocabulary. Not only did Millican do a little shopping at a Polaris dealer over the break between Phoenix and Gainesville, but he spent plenty of time behind the wheel of some other toys later that week.

Last Thursday he caught a plane back out West to join Stringer Performance team sponsor Weld Wheels with the unveiling of the new HiPer Technology DM58, Dalton Millican tribute wheel.

Then on Sunday, Millican joined another sponsor, Parts Plus, and took part in a day of training at the Bob Bondurant Racing School in Phoenix, AZ before heading back home to rest up before the Gatornationals this weekend.

 

Quote from Clay Millican on the week ahead at Gainesville…

“It’s gonna be a great week! I’m excited to start things off with golf at the DRAW tournament on Wednesday. On Thursday, I have the privilege of inducting one of my childhood heroes, Preston Davis, into the Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Then I’m going out there to the Gatornats to stomp on that loud pedalFriday, Saturday and especially on Sunday!!”

 

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.

 

B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Safe Driving Program

NHRA Pro Stock Champion Allen Johnson Teams With Foundation To Bring The B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Safe Driving Program To Memphis International Raceway In Honor Of Dalton Millican

It’s like the old Beatles song “With A Little Help From Your Friends”. Allen Johnson, the 2012 NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock champion joined with longtime B.R.A.K.E.S. Charity supporters The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation to support B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe), the organization founded by fellow drag racing champion, Doug Herbert. Thanks to their strong commitment commitment to helping B.R.A.K.E.S. the Teen Pro-Active Driving Schools will be coming to legendary Memphis International Raceway for the first time ever. B.R.AK.E.S. will offer the nationally acclaimed free of charge advanced defensive driver training to teenage drivers and their parents on the weekend of August 27th & 28th.

“Clay Millican has been one my fiercest rivals on the drag strip and he has also been one of my best friends off the track. After Clay & Donna lost their son Dalton last year several people wanted to do something to honor Dalton’s legacy and we had some great friends step up and help make it happen. I am so happy and grateful that we are able to bring
B.R.A.K.E.S. to Memphis this year” says Herbert, who created B.R.A.K.E.S. in 2008 following the tragic highway accident that claimed the lives of his young sons, Jon and James.

“Doug’s organization is just incredible, and Clay & Donna Millican are incredible people, so I am just happy that I am able to be part of this meaningful opportunity to honor their son Dalton Millican”, says Allen Johnson, the driver of the Marathon Oil Dodge Avenger. “Teaching our teenagers how to be safer, more mature drivers is so important these days with so many distractions like cell phones and loud stereos stealing their attention. The B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving Schools help kids to remain focused while driving and teach them car control skills to help them avoid having an accident when the unexpected happens.”

“As we were sitting next to Clay & Donna Millican at last years B.R.A.K.E.S. Gala I was trying to think of a way that I could do something to support them”, said a representative from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. “When Allen Johnson stood up and challenged someone to match his donation in effort to bring B.R.A.K.E.S. to Memphis for Clay & Donna I didn’t hesitate to raise my hand. Our foundation has participated in B.R.A.K.E.S. for several years so we know exactly how it helps teach our young drivers the skills they need to be safe on the roads.”

My family has been truly blessed to have Doug Herbert as a friend thru all of this. The things he has done with the
B.R.A.K.E.S. organization is something that is very special it is something that cannot ever be measured. The number of families who will NEVER get that phone call or have that knock on the door to tell them they have lost a child due to what their children learned at a B.R.A.K.E.S. class, how can we all not be grateful for that?
When Alan Johnson began to speak of having a school in Dalton’s honor it was very moving. Alan Johnson is a good man who has helped so many people. Thanks to Alan and Pam Johnson, Tom and Joan Calamanis of the H.N. and
Frances C. Berger Foundation, I am very proud to say we will be holding a B.R.A.K.E.S. school at my home track Memphis International Raceway. Dalton will be super proud.

“Memphis International Raceway has been a great track for me throughout my Top Fuel career,” adds Herbert, Top Fuel winner of the 1999 NHRA Mid South Nationals at Memphis. “Now with our Teen Pro-Active Driving Program coming to the Clays hometown track in honor of his son the track will take on even greater meaning and significance for me and everyone at B.R.A.K.E.S.”

For more information on the Teen Pro-Active Driving Schools, eligibility guidelines, and to register (teenagers and their parents are required to sign up), please log on to: www.putonthebrakes.org B.R.A.K.E.S. is a non-profit 501 © (3) organization.

FAQ’s
What does B.R.A.K.E.S. teach?

B.R.A.K.E.S. teaches advanced behind the wheel defensive driving and accident avoidance in our KIA provided vehicles.

 

How long are the classes?

Classes are 4 hours long. We have morning classes from 8am to 12 noon and afternoon classes from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

 

The classes are FREE, so why do I need to pay a $99 refundable deposit?

We have found that in order to deter NoShows and because we have hundreds of students on waiting lists we have to require a $99 commitment. Once you attend the class you can ask for a refund or you can choose to make a tax deductible donation to the B.R.A.K.E.S. charity that will help us return and provide future teens the experience.

Phoenix Rising: Parts Plus/Great Clips Driver Clay Millican Advances to 4th in Points After Weekend Semi-Final Run

PHOENIX, February 28, 2016: Clay Millican overcame a challenging start to his Phoenix race weekend, as the Parts Plus/Great Clips Top Fuel dragster powered its way to two win lights Sunday and took one step closer toward the NHRA Mello Yello Series Countdown to the Championship.

After the Parts Plus/Great Clips car struggled a bit in Friday’s summer-like conditions, Stringer Performance crew chief David Grubnic made some tune-up adjustments Saturday morning to get the car back on track in qualifying.

“When we tested here less than a month ago, it was a lot cooler—the only thing that was the same this weekend was the location,” Millican says with a laugh. “The heat takes away power, but we can adjust the motor to make more power. The track temperature is the problem because of traction, so Grubby [Grubnic] made some adjustments to get the car down the track Saturday.”

Grubnic’s changes paid off as Millican ran a 3.784 @ 322.96 mph in Q3, followed by a 3.773 @ 293.03 mph to lock up the No. 6 qualifying position heading into Sunday. Millican’s Q4 incremental times: 60ft—0.836 sec.; 330ft—2.119; and 660ft—3.006 @ 287.29 mph.

“We barely missed being at least the No. 2 qualifier,” Millican says. “We were definitely looking for a little more out there. But overall, Saturday was really, really good, and it put is in a solid position to start Sunday.”

On Sunday morning, Millican lined up against driver Troy Buff and team owner Bill Miller, who manufacturers some of the parts purchased by the Parts Plus/Great Clips team.

“Bill’s team doesn’t race full time, but make no mistake about it—his car always has the potential to run really well,” Millican says.

Millican caught a break when the Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster put a cylinder out but still managed to turn on the win light after Buff smoked the tires. Officially, Millican ran a 3.940 @ 304.5 to earn the win.

In Sunday’s round 2, the Parts Plus/Great Clips team squared off against the always tough U.S. Army car and driver Tony Schumacher. In a rarity for the two accomplished teams, both cars smoked the tires, but Millican managed to salvage a round 2 victory and advance to the semi-finals.

“We left the line and got the tires loose—I stepped on the throttle, and I see that the Army car is having trouble, too,” Millican explains. “So I feathered the throttle and got the car to hook back up and went right by him, which was pretty awesome.”

As the relentless Phoenix sun pounded the raceway, the track became trickier as Millican and the Parts Plus/Great Clips team scrambled to get the car ready for the semis.

“Our crew guys did an amazing job to get the car ready for our next run on live FOX television. We’ve been preparing for these quick turnarounds, and it paid off. We ended up having to change the motor because we burnt a head gasket and it damaged the block where the head gaskets go on. But the guys got it done.”

Unfortunately, clutch problems on the Parts Plus/Great Clips car persisted in the semis, as Lean Pritchett earned the win light over Millican and went on to achieve her first Top Fuel event victory. Officially, Pritchett’s 3.832 was good enough to top Millican’s 3.878.

“The car absolutely wore the clutch out on it, which is why we didn’t run any quicker than we did. Grubby has something he says all the time: ‘Once is an anomaly—twice is a problem.’ All of the sudden, we had two clutch discs that had an extra amount of wear that we haven’t seen before. And when it wears the clutch, the car just doesn’t go as quick. I mean, this was a lot of clutch wear, so that’s something we’ll have to figure out over the next two weeks.”

Always one to look at the big picture, Millican was pleased that his team’s two win lights resulted in a move up one spot to No. 4 in the top 10 points standings.

“As we learned last year, every point counts when you’re looking to make the Countdown. So while it’s still early in the season, we’re keeping our eye on points. The crew guys are just getting better and better. And Grubby is getting more information on what the car’s gonna do and how it’s gonna run. The improvements we made to the chassis in the offseason have already made a huge difference. There’s a great feeling surrounding this team right now, and everybody’s really upbeat. It’s really exciting to be a part of it.”

 

2016 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES STANDINGS

1. Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., Mac Tools – 171

2. Steve Torrence, Kilgore, Texas, Capco Contactors – 163

3. Brittany Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Monster Energy – 133

4. Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., Parts Plus/Great Clips – 131

5. Leah Pritchett, Danville, Ind., Quaker State – 129

6. Antron Brown, Indianapolis, Matco Tools – 110

7. Richie Crampton, Indianapolis, Lucas Oil – 109

8. J.R. Todd, Indianapolis, SealMaster –  105

9. Tony Schumacher, Austin, Texas, U.S. Army – 98

10. Terry McMillen, Elkhart, Ind., Amalie Motor Oil – 97

Next Race: March 17–20, Gainesville, Fla.