BROWNSBURG, Ind, (September 4, 2018) – Terry McMillen and his AMALIEⓇ Motor Oil XTERMIGATORⓇ team accomplished what many thought was unobtainable for the Elkhart, Indiana driver. They won the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, arguably the largest drag race in the NHRA series..
Just three seasons ago, McMillen was ready to walk away from the sport that he loved dearly, after season of struggles and mishaps had shaken his belief that he belonged in the sport.
“I’ve always said persistence out weighs resistance,” McMillen said. “That day in Charlotte, I had briefly lost faith in that statement. Ultimately it was the fans and Amalie that believed in me that day and picked me up.”
“There are two things that everyone remembers about a season,” McMillen continued. “They remember the season champion and who won Indy. I’m very proud of my team for accomplishing that goal. We won Indy and no one can ever take that away from us,”
McMillen qualified 13th for the sun drenched event that made for tricky conditions for the crew chiefs, especially from the bottom half of the ladder which saddled the team with the right lane, which seemed to be the trickier of the two lanes.
His first round matchup with Scott Palmer proved to be the little luck they needed to master the right lane. Palmer would shut his car off after the team saw something they didn’t like, giving McMillen a solo run to the quarter-finals.
“Palmer’s circumstance gave us the window we needed, McMillen said. “Rob (Crew Chief, Rob Wendland) learned what we needed to do to slide our hot rod down that lane on that pass.”
It worked for team Amalie. McMillen was able to defeat points leader Steve Torrence in round two, rookie Blake Alexander in the semi-finals and veteran Doug Kalitta in the finals.
While McMillen had a good light in the finals, Kalitta would take an advantage that almost proved tough to overcome.
“Doug drilled me on the tree, McMillen said of Kalitta’s .047 light to his own .071. “But I think we had it made up around the 60 foot mark. Rob did a fantastic job of getting us through that final round. I think Doug dropped a hole and we did too. Ours was just a little later than his.”
“I used to come here years ago to watch the race with my boys,” McMillen said. “We would always dream of winning the race. Today that dream came true.”
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Photo Credit: photo Cori McMillen, Driver photo courtesy of NHRA