Millican Uninjured After Spectacular Crash in Milan Louie Allison wins Top Fuel Ironman at Milan Dragway for the second year in a row In a race marred by four-time defending IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Clay Millican's unbelievable accident,...
Millican Uninjured After Spectacular Crash in Milan
Louie Allison wins Top Fuel Ironman at Milan Dragway for the second year in a row
In a race marred by four-time defending IHRA Top Fuel World Champion Clay Millican's unbelievable accident, Louie Allison (Denver, Colo.) won his second straight Ironman in the class as he defeated Bruce Litton (Indianapolis, Ind.) in the final of the Dukes of Hazzard Motor City Nationals at Milan Dragway.
Allison's 4.799/297.22 was good enough to top Litton's 4.813/309.34 and put him in the Winner's Circle for the second time in his career. It was deja vu for Allison as he mirrored what he did last year in the first round and in qualifying. In '04 he qualified #7 and had to face #2 qualifier Tim Cullinan (Franklin Park, Ill.) in the first round. This year he qualified #7 and squared off with Cullinan in the first round. Last season he defeated Cullinan in a pedal-fest to advance to the semifinals. This year the same thing happened as both cars got out of the groove early and struggled down the track. Last year, the Milan Dragway event was the first IHRA national event Clay Millican (Drummonds, Tenn.)did not win. This year was also Millican's first loss.
"It was like that movie Groundhog Day with Punxsutawney Phil," Allison said of the weekend. "I knew, when I qualified, that I had a decent chance. Then when I saw I had Tim in the first round it felt like last year all over again."
Though Allison got the victory, much of the attention was on Millican's accident. Millican, the four-time defending IHRA Top Fuel champion, experienced a complete blowover in his semifinal round against Bruce Litton. Millican was traveling at over 200 miles per hour when the front wheels of his '05 Hadman Dragster lifted off the ground at half track and did not stop. He ended up blowing all the way over before skidding well past the finish line before coming to a stop upside down.
IHRA safety personnel arrived at the scene within seconds and Millican climbed out of the car almost immediately. He was talking with the safety crew and the track doctor and was reportedly cutting up with the paramedics en route to the hospital, where he was taken as a precautionary measure.
"God bless him," Allison said of Millican. "I really hope he's doing okay. Those blowovers are uncomfortable. The next time you get in the car you can't have that in your mind, but until then you certainly relive it over and over again."
Speaking of reliving things, Dan Seamon (Bellevue, Oh.) became the first driver to relive a trip to the Torco Race Fuels Pro Stock Winner's Circle, becoming the only IHRA national repeat winner this season when he defeated Steve Spiess (Manhattan, Ill.) in the final. Seamon also won at the season-opening Amalie Oil Texas Nationals. It was extra special for Seamon because his two young daughters were in attendance and it was car owner Charlie Taylor's birthday.
"I didn't think I was going to get around Steve as tough as he was driving this weekend," Seamon said. "This weekend started off terribly for us. We didn't get in until the last qualifying run.we were having clutch trouble or driver trouble, whatever. But my crew stuck in there and worked hard. It was really special because my girls were here and it was Charlie's birthday this weekend. This was a present for him from me and everyone else."
Seamon's victory catapulted him into third in the Torco Race Fuels Pro Stock World Championship standings.59 points behind Spiess. Robert Patrick (Fredericksburg, Va.) is in second place, nine points behind Spiess.
One of the most bizarre moments of the competition came when Seamon faced Patrick in the semifinals. After both racers pre-staged, they sat through a nearly two minute burndown staging war. Patrick finally rolled into the second beams, but could not hold Seamon off on the track.
"I would have sat there until Monday morning," Seamon said of the staging war. "There are no rules that say who has to go in first or last. It started off slow and I was ready to go, then I decided no, I wasn't going to go. Me and Charlie talked about it and we were going to sit there for awhile."
Rob Atchison (London, Ont. Canada) continued his IHRA Funny Car dominance by defeating Jim Sickles (Caledonia, N.Y.) to claim his fourth Ironman of the season. He also has been the #1 qualifier at all six '05 IHRA national events.
Though he was happy with the victory, Atchison was sanguine about the weekend.
"It was tough with the weather and everything going on around," Atchison said. "Clay is a good friend and so is Al Billes, and this was a tough race mentally and physically. But we have an awesome car."
Billes, a Torco Pro Mod driver, suffered a crash Saturday morning that sent him to the hospital He was not seriously injured.
Mike Castellana (Westbury, N.Y.) became the sixth different Torco Pro Mod Ironman winner in as many events as he defeated a red-lighting Harold Martin (West Bloomfield, Mich.) in the Pro Mod final. In fact, Carl Spiering (Jordan Station, Ont. Canada) also red-lighted to Castellana in the semifinal.
"I won the first round, then won the second round on a holeshot," Castellana said. "The last two rounds.what can I say? It was our day."
It was Castellana's third career national event victory.