After His Best Year Yet, Clay Millican is Gunning for the Top in 2019

After His Best Year Yet, Clay Millican is Gunning for the Top in 2019

David Straughan
3 minute read

In the shadows of Steve Torrence’s historic 2018 season, it’s easy to overlook the incredible season that Clay Millican had this year. The Tennessee native fan favorite won two races and was the only racer within sniffing distance of Torrence for much of 2018. He survived a series of fires and explosions and pulled off some dramatic trial wins. But by the looks of things over at Stringer Performance, Clay and his team are just getting started.

Millican's Championship Reunion

Last week it was announced that Stringer Performance was replacing tuner David Grubnic with Mike Kloeber, despite the success of Millican’s 2018 run. This left the question as to why. To answer that, one needs to look back into Clay Millican racing history just a bit. Before ascending the ranks in NHRA Top Fuel, Clay Millican won six IHRA championships in just seven seasons. His crew chief? Mike Kloeber.

Excited for the Future

Despite the close of the 2018 season coming just a few days ago, Stringer Performance owner Doug Stringer is already looking ahead towards the future. “We’re excited for what the future holds for us,” Stringer said. “There’s a long relationship between Mike and Clay, so there’s a huge comfort level there. Mike’s got some unfinished business out here, as does Clay.” As for the swirling questions around Grubnic’s departure and Kloeber’s arrival, Stringer has a no-nonsense answer. “People say, ‘Wow, they’re changing crew chiefs, their direction.’ Yes, people are moving on and people are moving in, but our direction is to win the championship next year.”

Championship Vision

It’s clear that there is one goal for the 2019 NHRA season for Clay and Stringer Performance: winning the National Championship. New crew chief Kloeber spoke about his move to Stringer earlier last week. “Getting a call from Doug Stringer with the opportunity to race with this team provides a path to conclude some unfinished business for us all — winning a NHRA Mello Yello Championship,” he said. Kloeber describes all the pieces that he hopes will come together to create a winning formula for 2019. “With the addition of partners Scott Gardner and J.J. Koehler to the team, along with Doug, who I also share a history with, my motivation couldn’t be any higher. Their expertise and additional resources position the program for exceptional growth and performance.” As proud sponsors of Stringer Performance racing and Clay Millican, we here at Strutmasters couldn’t be more ready for February 7th when the 2019 NHRA season kicks off at the Lucas Oil Winternationals.

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