IHRA Legend: A Look Back at Clay Millican’s Amazing Run
Clay Millican had a breakout season this year in the NHRA. Finishing third overall, he was the only real threat to winner Steve Torrence for most of the season. He won two events and broke several records along the way. It was a memorable season for Clay and for fans of the sport. While his stock is rising in the NHRA, Clay was absolutely unstoppable in the International Hot Rod Association, or IHRA.
The Legend of “Six-Time”NHRA fans know Millican as the down-to-earth fan favorite, a lovable southern gentleman with a huge heart and a heavy foot. At the end of his tenure in the IHRA, Millican was known by the nickname “Six-Time” to his friends and family. That comes from winning six IHRA championships. Six championships is impressive enough. However, Millican won those six championships in just seven seasons.
More Than Just IHRA ChampionshipsHere’s another mind-blowing fact about Millican’s incredible IHRA run: From his first full season as a Top Fuel driver in 2000 to his last IHRA season in 2006, Millican never finished worse than second in points. Add to that 51 national event wins and countless world records, and it’s easy to see why many consider Clay Millican the greatest IHRA driver of all time.
Memorable Moments in IHRA HistoryIn addition to being a bona fide winner, Millican often wowed fans with impossibly quick passes. One of the most memorable was in Rockingham, North Carolina at the World Finals in 2005. Clay Millican laid down one of the fastest laps a Top Fuel Dragster has ever recorded, an almost unbelievable 4.484 seconds. “Every time we went to Rockingham it was just something about that track and our team that just clicked,” Millican said at the time. “The weekend That we ran the 4.48 that was the Werner Enterprises car and that was one bad hot rod. We had the championship locked up and we were just going for it. We just wanted to see what we could get away with.”
Looking AheadThese days, Millican is working on recapturing his IHRA glory. In a much-publicized move, the Stringer Performance team replaced Crew Chief David Grubnic with Mike Kloeber. Kloeber was Millican’s crew chief during his incredible IHRA run. While not content to rest on his laurels, Millican has fond and proud memories of his International Hot Rod Association days. “The money from winning those things is long gone now, but those trophies are the very first thing you see when you walk into our race shop. In the end the trophies mean much more than the money ever could,” Millican said. “The ability to say that I have won six world Championships is something no one can take away from me. I am very proud of that fact and everything that I accomplished during the incredible years I spent racing with the IHRA.”
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