MCMILLEN CLAIMS FIRST CAREER KNOLL-GAS NITRO JAM VICTORY EDMONTON, Alberta (July 8, 2007) -- Veteran racer Terry McMillen, Elkhart, Ind., defeated first-time Top Fuel competitor Jeff O'Neill during the CARS RV & Marine & Motorsport Rocky ...
MCMILLEN CLAIMS FIRST CAREER KNOLL-GAS NITRO JAM VICTORY
EDMONTON, Alberta (July 8, 2007) -- Veteran racer Terry McMillen, Elkhart, Ind., defeated first-time Top Fuel competitor Jeff O'Neill during the CARS RV & Marine & Motorsport Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Torco Racing Fuels. Both competitors came to Castrol Raceway seeking their first career Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam event wins.
Other professional winners included Terry Haddock (Nitro Funny Car), Ed Hoover (Pro Modified), Mark Thomas (Alcohol Funny Car) and Robert Patrick (Pro Stock). Sportsman eliminations are still underway after a short rain-delay.
McMillen, who entered Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel eliminations qualified No. 7, ran a 4.953 in round one to take out Mike Strasburg. His semifinal opponent was teammate Doug Foley, who had just dispatched Bruce Litton. Foley was No. 1 qualifier and had event low ET of 4.581. However, in round two, Foley shook the tires at half-track and McMillen took the stripe to advance to the finals.
O'Neill had a tough road to the finals as well. He took out points leader T.J. Zizzo in round one with a 4.678, then Scotty Cannon with a 4.951, both times clocking impressive reaction times.
Again in the final, O'Neill had the advantage off the line, but it wasn't enough as McMillen took the stripe and won the race with a 4.729, 291.
"It's just an unbelievable feeling to win this race," said McMillen. "I've always said Edmonton is one of my favorite tracks. To come out here and win it is an awesome deal. Perseverance by the Torco team was a major factor today. We went out there and got it done. I just can't say enough about my team, Evan Knoll (sponsor), Tim Lewis and Doug Foley (team co-owners)."
Haddock used a final round 5.104 ET to take out current Knoll Gas Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car points leader Dale Creasy Jr. in the final round. Creasy had a slight starting line advantage but smoked the tires and that was enough for Haddock, of Lynnwood, Wash., to win his first career race.
Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Modified competitor Hoover took out former world champion Mike Castellana, low qualifier Kenny Lang and winner of the last IHRA event Pat Stoken to advance to the finals against Carl Spiering, making his IHRA debut of the season. Hoover left the starting line second, but out-hustled Spiering in a great side-by-side race down the track.
At the stripe it was Hoover, of Gilbert, S.C., winning his second Nitro Jam event of the season.
Defending Alcohol Funny Car world champion Thomas made it four final rounds in as many races, winning his second event of the season. Entering the race with a 17 point lead, he advanced to the finals defeating Edmonton's John Evanchuk in round one and Terry Munroe in round two. The Canton, Ohio, native then defeated a red-lighting Roger Bateman for the win, increasing his points lead on the class.
Patrick started eliminations in the second position and dropped Rob Mansfield in round one with a 6.418, 215.79, low ET of the event in the Torco's CompetitionPlus.com Pro Stock class. He then defeated Cary Goforth and former world champion Brian Gahm to advance to the finals versus defending world champion Pete Berner. Patrick ran another 6.418 to Berner's 6.419 to take the win.
The next event on the $19.5 million Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series is the MOPAR Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol, July 20-22, Grand Bend (Ontario) Motorplex. For more information, please log onto www.ihra.com.