Impressive Feat – Clay Millican and Stringer Performance Score Back to Back Wins

CHICAGO, June 4, 2018: Clay Millican and the Stringer Performance team are on a quite a roll after scoring back-to-back national event title wins – at Topeka two weeks ago and this past weekend Route 66 Raceway outside of Chicago.

Route 66 Raceway has special meaning for Millican who made his first NHRA start there 20 years ago.

“When I first got into this whole deal, my goal was just to drive one of these things. I never thought about winning. I just wanted to see what it was like to drive one. It’s crazy to come here and win 20 years later. But I’ve got to give 100% of the credit to the Parts Plus/ Great Clips/ Strutmasters.com team. I was horrible on the Christmas Tree all weekend. But it didn’t matter how bad I was on the starting line—we had the team pull together and keep turning those win lights on.”

Millican turned more than a few heads on Friday when his dragster stormed out of the gates in Q1, running a [email protected] mph to temporarily rocket all the way to the No. 1 qualifier spot, a position Clay has been quite comfortable in of late. Millican finished in the No. 4 spot when qualifying concluded on Saturday, and the driver felt great about his chances, especially after eliminations got underway Sunday morning.

Plenty of traditional NHRA heavy hitters struck out early, putting Millican and his Parts Plus/ Great Clips/ Strutmasters.com rocket on the fast track to the finals. Ironically enough, Millican would face off against Leah Pritchett, who he outran in the finals of the Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol last year on Father’s Day to earn his first national event title.

The crowd was buzzing over the matchup as Millican and Pritchett likely have the two best cars going at the moment, running with the kind of consistency that separates the winners from the pretenders. In fact, Pritchett won at Atlanta the week before Millican was reunited with Wally for the second time in the next title event two weeks later at Topeka.

With weather conditions at 79 degrees and relative humidity 41 percent, Millican lined up against Pritchett fully expecting to win, he revealed afterward. Powered by crew chief David Grubnic’s ingenious setup and perhaps Millican’s growing confidence, the Parts Plus/Great Clips/ Strutmasters.com dragster launched out of the gate first and never trailed for the win, earning the Tennessean his third Top Fuel Wally and his second golden trophy of the 2018 season—back to back, no less.

Millican’s proverbial long road sure has carried him far since his Top Fuel debut on the very same Chicago track in 1998. “This place is really special,” he says, “I got my first Top Fuel experience in competition on this race track in 1998. I was the very first car to pull out on this facility. Shortly after that, I did a reverse burnout and got to meet [late NHRA Chief Starter] Buster Couch live in person. That was not my most favorite conversation. He said. ‘I don’t know what you did before you got your Top Fuel license, but you might think about going back to it.’ He did not like me doing a reverse burnout.”

For Millican nowadays, it’s all about moving forward, as the team jumped to the No. 2 spot after this weekend’s impressive performance, only 25 points behind points leader, Steve Torrance.

“I think some folks may have doubted us a few years ago when we held a press conference announcing our new young team with Stringer Performance. From day one, we’ve talked about winning a championship. I think now all those folks just might believe us.”

Clay Millican and Stringer Performance Team In Championship Form As Thy Score First Win Of The Season In Topeka

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.”

Strutmasters.com Increases Its Sponsorship Of The Stringer Performance NHRA Top Fuel Dragster In Upcoming Events

MCLEANSBORO, Ill. (May 15, 2018) – NHRA Top Fuel team Stringer Performance is pleased to announce that Strutmasters.com will have more prominent placement on its Top Fuel dragster driven by Clay Millican for the Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, KS, May 18-20 and the Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, June 15-17.

Strutmasters.com, which first partnered with Stringer Performance in 2017, will have co-primary positioning on the dragster of Millican for both events along with Parts Plus and Great Clips. Millican is the defending winner of the Thunder Valley Nationals, claiming his first ever NHRA win last season at Bristol in an emotional victory on Father’s Day.

Strutmasters.com is a suspension manufacturer founded in 1999 by Chip Lofton. Specializing in air-to-non-air suspension conversion kits, Strutmasters.com has become an industry leader in the world of suspension. Strutmasters offers affordable total solutions to fixing costly complex air, magnetic, electronic, and hydraulic suspension systems. What began as a personal project to repair a family’s only vehicle, Strutmasters.com has grown into a nationwide provider of suspension solutions and has truly earned the title “The Suspension Experts”.

“We had the Thunder Valley Nationals on our radar as one of the events we wanted to sponsor but with the way Clay and the Stringer Performance team have been running this season we wanted to jump in as quick as possible and added the Topeka event as well,” said Strutmasters.com owner, Chip Lofton. “Doug Stringer and his team have put forth impressive results so far this season, with Clay most recently breaking the track record at Atlanta on top of three No. 1 qualifiers so far this season. We are extremely proud to be a part of this team.”

Stringer Performance owner Doug Stringer is proud to see Strutmasters.com step into a bigger role with the team.

Strutmasters.com has been a great partner of our team over the course of the last two seasons,” said Stringer. “I’m excited for them to step into a major partner role for the Heartland Nationals and the Thunder Valley Nationals and to have the opportunity to capitalize on the marketing value associated with primary sponsorship. Bristol especially is a special race for us having won our very first Wally here last year so we have every intention of repeating and taking Strutmasters.com to the Winners Circle.”

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its fourth 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. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including Parts Plus, Great Clips, and Strutmasters.com.

Record Breaking Weekend for Clay Millican and Stringer Performance in Atlanta

ATLANTA, May 7, 2018: It was almost like Babe Ruth calling his shot when the legendary Yankee knocked the ball out of the park at Chicago’s Wrigley Field in the 5th inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series. Last week, Parts Plus/Great Clips/ Strutmasters driver Clay Millican confidently pointed to Atlanta as a turning point for the team’s ongoing success in the 2018 campaign.

Specifically, Millican said he felt Stringer Performance crew chief David Grubnic and his team were driving toward achieving more consistency to ensure the Parts Plus/Great Clips/ Strutmasters “rocket” flies straight down the track and turns on win lights. And that’s no small feat when you’re attempting to harness the power of the quickest dragster in the universe.

“I love this time of year when we start racing week to week. This gives the team an opportunity to get into a rhythm that will keep us on pace to continue this fantastic season. It all starts Friday in qualifying—we’ve got to come out strong, get the straight down the track like we did all last season, and put ourselves into the top five of the field on Sunday. I fully expect us to knock it out the park Friday.”

Indeed, after an aggressive swing and a miss in Q1, Millican suddenly regained his all-star slugger form on Friday. Taking advantage of the cooling temps under the stars at Atlanta Dragway to close out that evening’s qualifying session, the Parts Plus/Great Clips/ Strutmasters dragster launched hard off the line and clocked a record-breaking time at Atlanta: 3.758 at 331.12 mph. Despite a challenge from Brittany Force, Millican held onto the top spot as qualifying wrapped up Sunday. “To go 331 mph in Atlanta is pretty cool,” Millican says. “The car is the quickest in the world, and I’m proud of that. We’ve had a little problem when it’s hot outside. What surprised me is that this car is starting to run speed because last year we didn’t run speed.”

That makes three No. 1 qualifiers for the popular driver in seven races thus far in the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Series and the 13th of Millican’s Top Fuel career. Relive Millican rocketing to the No. 1 spot and the new speed record at Atlanta Dragway over the weekend in the clip below.

“We held in there and got the green hat,” Millican told reporters after securing the No. 1 spot Saturday afternoon. “We are now definitely looking for the yellow hat. We went out and made a nice solid run and Brittany [Force] was knocking on the door of taking the No. 1 spot away.”

Force knocked hard on Saturday, but the door didn’t open. Nonetheless, the Monster Energy dragster’s [email protected] mph managed to secure the No. 2 spot for Force. Points leader Steve Torrence closed out Saturday’s qualifying session as the No 3 qualifier

Millican’s Q3 run was merely the icing on the cake. While the car didn’t match Friday’s home-run shot, Grubby and the team put their driver in position to do just that. This time, Millican guided the powerful Parts Plus/Great Clips/ Strutmasters dragster straight down the groove en route to a [email protected] mph—the second best pass of the session.

Most important, that made it two strong back-to- back runs for the team, the kind of consistency Grubby was aiming for heading into Sunday’s eliminations. Even more promising: No. 1 qualifier Millican would be lining up the next morning against No. 16 Audrey Worm, who couldn’t even run on Saturday after hurting crucial parts on her car while qualifying Friday. History indicated an easy win for Millican, as the No. 16 qualifier had not won an opening round on Sunday since the turn of the century.

Millican improved upon his team’s recent history, as he made it three successful passes in a row, with the Parts Plus car again riding that groove all the way to the finish line—and a win light—with a relatively tame [email protected] mph. “Obviously, we felt like we were in great shape to win this one as long as we got the car down the track, which we did, so I’m happy.” Worm’s woes continued, with her car dropping cylinders almost immediately after the start, effectively ending only her fifth start.

If the team was dealt the equivalent of a home-run pitch Friday night, then Sunday’s second round was a curveball for the crew. Millican appeared to catch a break lining up against Mike Salinas, who owns a scrap-metal and garbage-hauling company in San Jose, and is racing his first full-time schedule in the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Series.

The Parts Plus/Great Clips/ Strutmasters dragster trailed momentarily off the line before seizing the lead, seemingly en route to another win light—then Grubby’s rocket lost traction, and Millican figuratively appeared headed back down to Earth. But then the Scrappers dragster started to mix up cylinders on the top end, enabling Millican to regain the lead. But Salinas and his car lived up to their scrappy reputation and chased down the Parts Plus dragster for the junky-looking upset with a 4.128 pass—the first semifinal appearance of his career. Dr

“Well, that was about as ugly as it gets, but it sure would have looked a heck of a lot prettier had we stolen that one,” says Millican, who collected enough bonus points to remain in the 4th spot in the point standings. “I’d say it was overall a positive weekend—not only because we were the No. 1 qualifier for the third time in seven races but also those three consecutive runs straight down the track in which we pretty much did what we were aiming to do. We’ve still got some things to figure out, but having the quickest car and the best crew chief and team behind gives me heck of a lot of confidence moving forward.”

2018 Mello Yello Series Top Fuel Point Standings (Through 6 of 24 Events)

 

POSITION DRIVER POINTS POINTS BEHIND LEADER VEHICLE
01 Steve Torrence 581 0 Capco Racing/Torrence Motorsports
02 Tony Schumacher 461 -120 U.S. Army Dragster
03 Doug Kalitta 458 -123 Mac Tools Dragster
04 Clay Millican 448 -133 Parts Plus/ Great Clips/ UNOH dragster
05 Leah Pritchett 435 -146 Papa John’s Dragster
06 Antron Brown 390 -191 Matco Tools Dragster
07 Brittany Force 375 -206 Monster Energy Top Fuel Dragster
08 Terry McMillen 336 -245 Amalie Motor Oil Dragster
09 Richie Crampton 280 -301 Kalitta Air/DHL dragster
10 Mike Salinas 275 -306 Scrappers Racing


NEXT EVENT

May 18—20 Heartland National, Topeka, May 18—20

Topeka, Kan.

Fantastic Four! Parts Plus/Great Clips Dragster Reaches Finals of Charlotte’s Four-Wide Nationals

CONCORD, N.C., April 30, 2018: You could say the four-wide spectacle in the NHRA Mello Yello Series is starting to grow on Parts Plus/Great Clips/ Strutmasters driver Clay Millican. On Sunday, Millican nearly became only the fourth driver—and the first Top Fuel racer—in the eight-year history of the annual zMAX Four-Wide Nationals to reach the finals and win the event despite finishing second in the first two rounds.

“I’m not the biggest fan of the format, but if we keep running like this every year, I may fall in love with it yet,” says Millican, who was the No. 1 qualifier a year ago with a [email protected] run and reached the finals in 2016. “It was cooler than expected today early today, but that was good for us. We showed once again we can run this car in any kind of conditions and not lose a step.”

Qualifying wasn’t exactly smooth sailing, though, as the team’s recent struggles in Friday’s homerun session continued at Charlotte. But Millican bounced back in a big way in Q4, running the second-quickest pass of the session on a hot track with a [email protected], earning bonus points in the process. Millican, who would start Sunday in the No. 7 position, was confident the Parts Plus car would run well when it counted despite the inherent chaos of the zMAX four-wide.

“The Christmas Tree is different with the staging procedure, with the four cars out there, but the format is essentially the same as usual when you get down to it,” Millican says. “It’s still one driver, your car and your team. That said, it can be more challenging for the crew chief, as teams only get one qualifying run in each lane, so there’s less information to make an effective decision as to which lane to select. I’m glad Grubby [Stringer Performance crew chief David Grubnic] has to do that and not me. For me, I just have to go out there and beat three other drivers.”

Or as Millican illustrated Sunday, beating just two other drivers in the early rounds is pretty dang good, too, with each quad’s winner and the runner-up both advancing.

With the unexpected always expected during four-wide racing, it shouldn’t have been surprising when plenty of traditional heavy hitters were eliminated early, including all three Don Schumacher cars in a span of five minutes.

The Parts Plus/Great Clips/ Strutmasters dragster was also in danger of heading toward the exits when the car started to lose traction in Sunday’s first round before Millican pedaled it and got it hooked up to finish in the runner-up spot, 0.5647 seconds (a little over 100 feet) behind Dom Lagana. Millican edged Tony Schumacher by 0.321 seconds (more than 100 feet) ahead, while Leah Pritchett’s day ended in fourth.

“The car just got in front of me a little bit, and I moved it around a whole lot, and the car ended up spinning the tires, but fortunately I was able to get it hooked back up and take second,” Millican explains. “Only at the four-wide can you ‘lose’ but still advance. It’s a wild spectacle, for sure.”

With the sun emerging, and the temps rising in the air and on the track, Millican lined up in lane one against Mike Salinas, Lagana and Doug Kalitta for E2. This time, Millican was second off the line but went straight down the groove, advancing to the finals as the runner-up, finishing 0.0813 seconds (about 38 feet) behind Kalitta. The Parts Plus/Great Clips/ Strutmasters dragster topped Lagana by 0.044 seconds (about 20 feet), with Salinas finishing last in the quad.

That put Millican in position make history as the first Top Fuel driver to take home a four-wide Wally without winning a quad in round one or two. In the event’s eight-year history, only Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), Robert Thight (Funny Car) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) have managed to take advantage of the unique nuances of Charlotte’s four-wide to earn that rather dubious honor. Lined up against Torrence, Kalitta and Terry McMillen in the final four, Millican ran hard off the line but spun the tires at about the midway point.

Torrence went straight down the groove and never looked back, winning the quad and the event with a [email protected] mph.

“Of course, we wanted to win, but we’re pretty happy right now. The Parts Plus/Great Clips/ Strutmasters dragster is still the quickest car out there. Our only problem right now is maintaining that consistency because our car is either a rocket ship or a dud—there’s no in-between with it.

“I think it’s just a matter of Grubby figuring out that math problem to make the Parts Plus car run more consistently; when that happens, we will be winning more trophies. But I’m going to focus on doing my job. It’s fun knowing we’re capable of beating anyone out there each and every time we line up.”

2018 Mello Yello Series Top Fuel Point Standings (Through 6 of 24 Events)

 

POSITION DRIVER POINTS POINTS BEHIND LEADER VEHICLE
01 Steve Torrence 503 0 Capco Racing/Torrence Motorsports
02 Tony Schumacher 426 -77 U.S. Army Dragster
03 Doug Kalitta 401 -102 Mac Tools Dragster
04 Clay Millican 384 -119 Parts Plus/ Great Clips/ UNOH dragster
05 Antron Brown 362 -141 Matco Tools Dragster
06 Leah Pritchett 315 -188 Papa John’s Dragster
07 Brittany Force 311 -192 Monster Energy Top Fuel Dragster
08 Terry McMillen 305 -198 Amalie Motor Oil Dragster
09 Richie Crampton 263 -240 SealMaster dragster
10 Scott Palmer 249 -254 CatSpot/Tommy Thompson Motorsports

NEXT EVENT: NHRA Southern Nationals (PSM), May 4–6, Atlanta

Millican and Stringer Performance Team Looking for Consistency as They Continue to Show Impressive Speed in Houston

HOUSTON, April 23, 2018: Clay Millican arrived in the Lone Star State feeling confident that he would top last year’s memorable performance in Houston, which saw the popular Plus driver break the track record en route to a No. 1 qualifying start and a semi-final appearance at Royal Purple Raceway. However, despite the Stringer Performance team’s hard work over the race weekend, luck was not on their side this go-around.

The Parts Plus/ Great Clips team got off to slow start in Friday’s home-run session for the second straight week, striking out on both attempts. Millican got back on track Saturday in more ways than one with an impressive [email protected] mph in Q3 to secure a qualifying spot in the half of the field on Sunday, thanks in part to crew chief David Grubnic’s well-oiled mind, which always seems to be working with full efficiency, especially when it comes to overnight adjustments.

After barely missing on the team’s goal of earning a top-five spot, eventual No. 6 qualifier Millican dismissed concerns over the team’s uncharacteristic Friday night woes, blaming it in part on a problem a lot of teams would love to have: Doug Stringer’s Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster is just too dang fast at times and as hard to control as a wild horse.

“Some folks may think I’m kidding, but I tell ya this Parts Plus/ Great Clips car has two speeds—fast and crazy fast,” says Millican, who broke his own national E.T. record at Pomona’s season opener with a [email protected] mph. “Honestly, I just couldn’t control it Friday night, and we didn’t have much look slowing it down. But when that Parts Plus is running just right, it’s like riding a rocket, but I’m in control of that ship, and we fly straight down that groove quicker than anybody.” In Sunday’s first round, Millican was a little quicker than No. 11 qualifier Mike Salinas, who shook the tires right at the hit. The Parts Plus driver also had problems early but pedaled and kept it hooked up for the win, with a [email protected] mph.

Millican’s first-round win set up a Royal joust—a rematch with Tony Schumacher, who lost to Millican in the second round in 2017. Not this time. The Army car appeared to be on a mission, shooting straight down the track and leaving the Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster behind with a [email protected] mph. Millican was up in smoke early, and the decision was made to click the car off early.

“With the speed we’ve been showing when this car is running the way it should, it’s safe to say the other teams are gunning for us—we’re not going to surprise folks like we did last year,” Millican says. “We won over the Army car here last time, but the Sarge has pretty much had our number in the past. We didn’t really dial anything back because we knew we’d have to run a quick, perfect race to win it. We came out with everything we had, but we didn’t get it done.”

Millican says that once Stringer Performance crew chief David Grubnic gets a better handle on the car, the team will be off and running toward another spot in the NHRA Countdown for the Championship.

“Like I said, when it goes, it’s a rocket, but right now, it’s just out of control,” says Millican, who remains in the top five in Top Fuel points in the Mello Yello Series. “But ol’ Grubby is still trying to figure out how to calm the car down without hurting itself. A couple of times where he’s backed it off, it puts out holes [cylinders]. The engine doesn’t like it, and we don’t have the [parts] inventory to do that. We pride ourselves on not hurting any parts supplied by our great Parts Plus vendor partners. Grubby and this team won’t stop until we figure out how to run a 3.62, but in the meantime, we just have to find that same consistency we had in 2017 and then improve upon that.”

 

Top Fuel Point Standings (following Houston’s SpringNationals)

POSITION DRIVER POINTS POINTS BEHIND LEADER VEHICLE
01 Tony Schumacher 385 0 U.S. Army Dragster
02 Steve Torrence 385 0 Capco Racing/Torrence Motorsports
03 Antron Brown 324 -61 Matco Tools Dragster
04 Clay Millican 309 -76 Parts Plus/ Great Clips/ UNOH dragster
05 Doug Kalitta 304 -81 Mac Tools Dragster
06 Leah Pritchett 284 -101 Papa John’s Dragster
07 Brittany Force 270 -115 Monster Energy Top Fuel Dragster
08 Richie Crampton 247 -138 SealMaster dragster
09 Terry McMillen 240 -145 Amalie Motor Oil Dragster
10 Scott Palmer 214 -171 CatSpot/Tommy Thompson Motorsports

 

Next Race

April 27–29: NHRA Four-Wide Nationals – zMax Dragway

Clay Millican Holds Third Spot in the NHRA Top Fuel Championship Point Standings Following Gainesville

After a two-week hiatus, Clay Millican and the Stringer Performance team returned to action this weekend for the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. Friday’s qualifying sessions proved that Millican and his team remain on a hot streak with Millican’s second pass of 3.708 at 324.98 in the Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster being the fastest of the day. His time stood strong throughout Saturday’s qualifying runs and put Millican in the No. 1 spot going into Sunday’s eliminations for his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and 12th of his career.

Round One on Sunday, put Millican up against Terry Totten. Millican’s pass of 3.792 gave Millican the win light. In Round Two, Millican squared off against Terry McMillan and his pass of 3.758 was not only enough to take the win and move him into the semi-finals but it was the fastest pass of the session.

As the day progressed and temps rose, the track became a beast and eventually got the best of the Parts Plus/ Great Clips dragster in the semi-finals. Up against Shawn Reed, Millican lost the round in a close race in which both cars had a difficult time managing the changing track conditions.

It was an outstanding points weekend for Millican who currently sits third in the championship standings, just 13 points behind leader Steve Torrence. The Stringer Performance crew will take on Sin City April 6-8 for the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Clay Millican Sets New World Record in First NHRA Event of 2018

The 2018 NHRA season kicked off this weekend with the Winter Nationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, CA this weekend! Armed with a brand new chassis, driver Clay Millican and his Stringer Performance were ready to take the Great Clips/ Parts Plus dragster out on the track for the first event of the year. After a successful test session in Phoenix the week before, Millican and his team, led by crew chief David Grubnic, were confident that all of their hard work during the off-season had paid off – and they were 100% correct.

Friday marked Millican’s first time on the track for Day 1 of qualifying for the Winter Nationals and made quite the statement by taking the No. 1 spot with the fastest run of the day with a 3.694 second run. However, what followed on Saturday not only sent shockwaves throughout the NHRA Top Fuel garage but also made national news when Millican set a new World Record with an elapsed time of 3.628 seconds. Millican broke his own record of 3.631 set last year in Madison, Illinois.

”My crew chief, David Grubnic, runs this car differently than anybody else out here and he is just one of a kind,” Millican said. ”I knew it was a special run at the 330-foot mark, and I even shut the car off a bit early so we know we can improve upon those numbers at some point. I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

Going into Sunday’s finals as the No. 1 qualifier, Millican and team were ready to battle for the Wally and faced Steve Chrisman in Round One of Eliminations. Clay got the win light with a time of 3.709 and went into Round 2 with a bye. Advancing to the semi-finals, Clay went up against Doug Kalita but a mechanical issue kept him from going for the win.

The Stringer Performance team leaves Pomona riding a huge wave of momentum following their World Record run and holding onto the third spot in the standings. Next up for the team is the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, February 23-25th.

Millican Finishes 2017 Season in Sixth Place

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

About Stringer Performance
Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third 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. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

Social Media:
Facebook.com/StringerPerformance
Twitter: @StringerRacing
Instagram: @stringerperformance

Facebook.com/ClayMillican
Twitter: @ClayMillican
Instagram: @ClayMillican

Millican Heads To Final Race of 2017 With Goal Of Finishing Strong

McLeansboro, IL (November 8, 2017) – 2017 turned out to be a break out year for Clay Millican. Behind-the-wheel of the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster this year he earned his first NHRA event win, he grabbed the pole qualifying position five times and he set the National elapsed time record to become the quickest driver in NHRA history.

“This year has been awesome. David Grubnic, Mac Savage and this team of young guys have done a phenomenal job of tuning a consistent race car this season,” Millican said. “But now we have one race left and we need to get the job done. This is our last chance to go all the way and put our dragster in the Winner’s Circle in 2017.”

The 53rd Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals is the last stop in the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. It is the 24th race in a series that has had the Stringer Performance team traveling all across the United States.

Millican comes into Pomona No.7 in points. This weekend at the Auto Club NHRA Finals the points in play are increased to the one-and-a-half points system, meaning the leader board can change dramatically by Sunday. Winning the race earns a driver 150 points, with a possible 191 up for grabs.

“It’s anybody’s game this weekend. Between bonus points and round wins we are lined up to move several spots in the countdown. We started out the season with the goal of finishing in the top five and this is our chance to do it,” said Millican. “The Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH dragster has been running great and there is no reason why we can’t break that top five.”

Auto Club NHRA Finals Schedule (Pacific Time)
Friday, November 10
12:45 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 1
3:30 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 2
Saturday, November 11
12:45 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 3
3:30 p.m. Nitro Qualifying Session 4
Sunday, November 12
11:00 a.m. Nitro Eliminations Begin

Auto Club NHRA Finals TV Schedule on FS1 (Eastern Time)
Friday, November 10 – 6:30 p.m. LIVE Coverage of Qualifying
Saturday, November 11 – 6:00 p.m. LIVE Coverage of Qualifying
Sunday, November 12 – 4:00 p.m. LIVE Coverage of Eliminations

About Stringer Performance
Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third 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. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

Social Media:
Facebook.com/StringerPerformance
Twitter: @StringerRacing
Instagram: @stringerperformance

Facebook.com/ClayMillican
Twitter: @ClayMillican
Instagram: @ClayMillican