Clay Millican and the Stringer Performance appear to be in championship form this season with this weekend’s Heartland Nationals in Topeka, KS proving just that. Millican and team scored their second career national event win after a rain soaked event in which they seemed destined to bring home a Wally.
It was no secret that Millican and team were a threat throughout the course of the weekend. It was also no secret that they had a weapon in the form of crew chief, David Grubnic who has experienced much success at the Topeka track as a driver, capturing two wins of his own there. Grubnic’s previous experience coupled with a car that has proved lightning fast all year, got the perfect weekend started off on the right foot during Friday’s qualifying session. For the second straight week, and fourth time this season, Millican set fast time and earned No. 1 qualifier spot giving them an added advantage going into Sunday’s eliminations.
Sunday brought rainy weather to Topeka but it did nothing to slow down the Strutmasters/ Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster. After taking on Terry Totten in the first round, Millican faced Doug Kalita in the second round and stunned the crowd by running a 3.72 at 334.90, the third fastest pass in class history, shattering the track speed record for a second straight week. The day was cut short due to rain and so Millican and team were forced to wait another day to chase victory.
The wait was worth it as Monday morning brought sunny skies and a semi-finals win over eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher prior to entering the final round against longtime friend, Terry McMillen. Millican clocked a time of 3.727 seconds at 332.59 miles per hour for the win – and the Wally.
“This was a long weekend, but what a weekend for the Strutmasters.com / Parts Plus / Great Clips team,” Millican said. “It was incredible. It was just crazy how good the car ran and, to be honest with you, it pretty much didn’t matter what I did because that car was going to win today. A long time ago, when I first started Top Fuel, (NHRA legend) Shirley Muldowney told me, ‘When it’s your day, it’s easy,’ and right this moment it was kind of easy.”