Millican Continues Top Fuel Final Round Streak at NHRA Southern Nationals Commerce, Ga. - May 16, 2004 - Clay Millican of Team 104+ Performance Additives/Lehman Racing continued his streak of final round appearances at the NHRA Summit Racing ...
Millican Continues Top Fuel Final Round Streak at NHRA Southern Nationals
Commerce, Ga. - May 16, 2004 - Clay Millican of Team 104+ Performance Additives/Lehman Racing continued his streak of final round appearances at the NHRA Summit Racing Southern Nationals at the Atlanta Dragway, advancing to his third straight Top Fuel final. [04_headshot.jpg]
"There was nothing easy about the race today, and continuing to see the win light come on and moving to the next round each time felt awesome," said Millican. "Our guys did a great job getting the car to run down the track. We had some tricky conditions out here today and (Crew Chief Mike) Kloeber and the whole crew are just doing a great job."
Millican came into Sunday's finals as the number nine qualifier, and faced reigning NHRA POWERade Top Fuel Champion Larry Dixon in the first round of eliminations. Both drivers made clean passes and Millican edged Dixon with an elapsed time of 4.560 at 320.51 mph, while Dixon finished with an e.t. of 4.608 at 321.50 mph. This brought Millican's career won/lost record against Dixon to 3-5.
In the second round, Millican faced number one qualifier David Grubnic. Millican got off the line first, and finished with a 4.631 e.t. at 322.58 mph, while Grubnic clocked a 4.664 at 302.55 mph. [104_car_Phoenix.jpg]
Millican went on to face Grubnic's teammate Doug Kalitta in the semi-finals. Millican came into the round with an advantage, as he had beaten Kalitta two out of the three times they had previously met. Kalitta had problems early-on, while Millican lost traction around half-track, but pedaled his way to the finish line with a 4.928 e.t.
In the finals, Millican faced the number three qualifier, Cory McClenathan. Millican had a 1-1 career won/loss record against McClenathan heading into the final round, and got off the line with the better reaction time - 0.86 to 0.99. McClenathan, however, took the lead around the 330-foot mark, and barely beat Millican with an e.t. of 4.651 to 4.700.
"Cory Mac and those guys did a great job," said Millican. "I thought we had a good chance at winning in the finals, and we put down a good run and made the car go from A to B, just not quick enough. I was disappointed to see the win light come on in the wrong lane. I really thought today was going to be our day."
With his third consecutive final round appearance, Millican moved up in the POWERade Top Fuel points standings from the number nine to number six position, a very impressive feat considering Millican has raced in only five of the seven NHRA national events thus far in 2004. Additionally, Millican bettered his career NHRA round winning percentage from 50% to 51.7%.
Millican, the three-time IHRA Top Fuel Champion, will compete in at least 8 NHRA races this year, while also competing a full IHRA schedule and going for his fourth consecutive Top Fuel Championship in that league with Team Werner/Lehman Racing. His next race is the NHRA Route 66 Nationals in Chicago on May 20-23.