Millican Back on Track It has been about a month since Clay Millican suffered the most serious crash of his IHRA Top Fuel career. At the Dukes of Hazzard Motor City Nationals in Milan, Mich. the Drummonds, Tenn. resident experienced a...
Millican Back on Track
It has been about a month since Clay Millican suffered the most serious crash of his IHRA Top Fuel career. At the Dukes of Hazzard Motor City Nationals in Milan, Mich. the Drummonds, Tenn. resident experienced a spectacular blowover at over 225 mph, ending his run of five consecutive Hooters IHRA national event victories and putting a challenge in front of him he had never experienced before.coming back from an accident that could have been a lot worse than it actually was. Millican was unhurt in the crash, but mentally a blowover can take some time to overcome.
By defeating Doug Foley (Sewell, N.J.) in the final of the Torco Race Fuels Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park, Millican served notice to the rest of the IHRA Top Fuel world he is back and as good as ever.
Although the blowover was fodder for numerous highlight films and news blurbs, Millican insists it was not a big deal and he was not really that affected.
"My blowover didn't land nearly as hard as Louie (Allison) did," he said. "I was really lucky. To crash a Top Fuel car, I did it the best way it could be done. Mine just looked cool. I did a long wheelie, that's all."
Much was made of the IHRA debut of long-time IHRA Top Fuel driver T.J. Zizzo as well as Foley making some noise in the points race after winning two weeks ago at Toronto Motorsports Park. Dale Creasy, Jr. also was driving a Top Fuel car for the second time in IHRA competition this season at US 131.a lot of attention not on the driver who has won four consecutive IHRA World Championships. Millican changed things when he set a track record and grabbed the #1 qualifier honors Saturday night before dispatching Bobby Lagana, Jr. and Bruce Litton on his was to Ironman #6 this season. He cruised to the championship when Foley shook hard off the launch and had to lift.
"I'm not going to complain about coming to Martin any time," Millican said. "This is one of my favorite tracks and I wish we ran here several times a year. It is one of the nicest race tracks in the country, period."
Mike Castellana (Westbury, N.Y.) put a damper on Carl Spiering's big weekend when he defeated the Jordan Station, Ont. resident in the Torco Pro Mod final. Spiering won the Torco Pro Stock Shootout and its $20,000 first prize Saturday evening, but he could not contend with Castellana and his nitrous combination in the final of the Northern Nationals.
Castellana posted a 6.168/231.12 in the final to top Spiering, who lifted out of his run, and move into second place in the Torco Pro Mod points standings this season, just four points behind teammate Shannon Jenkins. He also became the first two-time Torco Pro Mod Ironman winner this season.
"It wasn't easy, but my crew put together a real good car," Castellana said. "The key thing is consistency. You have to have a good car throughout, and that's what the crew and Shannon gave me."
Rob Atchison (London, Ont.) continued his march towards a third consecutive Funny Car World Championship when he defeated Chris Foster in the final Sunday. Atchison's 5.825/240.81 easily handled Foster's 6.242/198.85.
Atchison defeated rival Mark Thomas (Louisville, Ohio) in the semifinals immediately after seeing Jim Sickles, the #2 driver in the points standings, fall to Foster.
"We just keep going rounds," Atchison said. "It was tough and I had to keep that in my head because I had just watched Jim Sickles go out and I had my archrival in the other lane in the semifinals. It can be tough to focus and realize where you have to be because, at that point, I wasn't going to lose any ground in the points."
Steve Spiess (Manhattan, Ill.) backed up his Torco Pro Stock victory in Toronto two weeks ago with a win over Rick Jones (Galesburg, Ill.) in the final. Spiess set the track et and mph record in the process, and extended his points lead over Robert Patrick. Spiess had a 49 point lead heading into the event. He left with a 122 point advantage. To top it off, he had 30 friends and family in attendance at the race.
"It doesn't get a whole lot better than this," Spiess said of his weekend. "We really ran good et's, but we couldn't figure out the miles an hour. We changes the gear ratio a couple of races ago because it felt like there was something holding us back. I'm just thankful for everything because I had all my friends here and was able to do well in front of them."
Spiess ran a 6.443/217.04 in the final to get the victory over Rick Jones in the final. In fact, Jones and his company, Quarter-Max, built both Chevy Cobalts that were in the final.
"Rick is very happy because he wants to see his customers win," Spiess said. "He's a very competitive person and wants to win just like everyone else. Before and after we are buddies, but when we are out there whatever happens, happens."