Clay Millican Racing

After Close Finish in Gainesville, Clay Millican Is Ready for Las Vegas

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Clay Millican’s oh-so-close second-place finish in Gainesville was not a win. However, if you ask Millican, it was just the beginning. He heads into Las Vegas April 5th looking to take over.

Millican and Co. are heading into the 20th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals hungry for their first win. After placing outside of the top five in the first two events of the season, Millican finished .008 seconds away from a win at the Gatornationals.

Fuel for the fire

That close finish has only fueled one the NHRA’s most popular drivers. In an excellent interview and write-up in SpeedSport, Millican spoke about the confidence he has in his team heading to The Strip.

“We made six straight competitive runs from Saturday through the final round, and that was huge,” said Millican. “Mike was able to get a handle on what the car wants and needs. That let us know as a group we can be thrown into the fire and get it done. They got through the fire together and it gives us confidence we can do this as a group.”

Vegas Magic?

Millican also believes that Las Vegas presents some unique advantages for him. As a former bracket racer, Millican is well-acquainted with the event’s four-wide format.

While many drivers might be a little intimidated by the different format and enormous crowds Vegas has to offer, Millican welcomes them as both a challenge and motivation.

“I’m a bracket racer at heart,” said Millican. “I love the race and I love the huge crowds at an event like that. It’s way more fun to show out in front of a packed house and last year was a packed house. We just have to maintain consistency going down the track. If we do that, we’ll turn win lights on. If we can maintain consistency, that consistency will get us wins.”

Early Questions

After finishing outside of the top five in the first two events of the season, some may have been questioning the decision to bring in new crew chief Mike Kloeber. Prior to this season, Kloeber last worked in the NHRA in 2014. Some may have wondered if his extended absence had taken a toll.

Clay Millican, however, was not one of those people.

“I knew it was going to be okay,” said the Drummonds, Tennessee native. “There were plenty of naysayers to hiring a guy who has been out of it a while, but we were confident. There was no question in our mind in our mind Mike was going to be able to get this going.”

The second-place finish in Gainesville may have been frustratingly close to victory in that moment. But for Millican, it’s just been the appetizer that has stoked his appetite for his first win of the season. A win he will look for in Vegas.

“Going to the finals doesn’t change anything,” said Millican. We want to keep winning rounds.”

Clay Millican Deserves a Bigger Spotlight; This Season He May Get One

This year’s third-place finisher in the NHRA Clay Millican is known around the racing world for two things: peeling the pavement with record-setting runs and his infectiously positive attitude.

Within the world of racing, Millican is an absolute fan favorite. It’s easy to see why.

 

“Stomp That Loud Pedal”

In many ways, he embodies the spirit of the fun-loving and family-friendly spirit of the NHRA. On the track, Millican is fearless.

His catch phrase, “stomp on that loud pedal” truly captures his strategy. Punch it hard, drive as fast as possible. No need to complicate things.

His car stays tuned wide open. Sometimes so much that it bursts into flames.

Millican’s aggressive approach to Top Fuel racing is everything a fan could want: a bit cowboy, a bit reckless, and absolutely thrilling to witness.

Off the track, Clay is almost the polar opposite; a humble, neighborly husband and father who is just happy to be living the dream.

“Down to earth” doesn’t even begin to describe Millican. He went from driving a forklift to being perhaps the most dominant driver in IHRA history. Even after winning six out of seven IHRA championships and several events in his NHRA career, he lives a relatively quiet life in the town he grew up in.

Millican spends a great deal of his down time doing charity work and teaching road safety and driving courses. He takes time to respond to fans on Twitter.

In short, Millican is everything we want our sports heroes to be.

 

A Growing Sport

The Drummonds, Tennessee native and his team have stayed busy in the off-season. While his easy-going nature and Southern gentleman manners may prevent him from saying it out loud, there is only one goal for the 2019 season: an NHRA Championship.

Winning the championship this year could propel Millican to a new level of stardom.

Clay’s rise to prominence coincides with steady growth in the sport’s popularity. After moving from FS1 to FOX, the NHRA more than doubled its viewership on the year.

FOX’s Spanish-language sports channel FOX Deportes even broadcast several races last season, with plans to broadcast more this season.

 

Face of the Franchise?

Nothing helps a sport boom in popularity like a star athlete. In Clay Millican, the NHRA has one in the making.

Millican’s story is almost too incredible to be true. For the unfamiliar, here’s the short version:

While working as a forklift driver for Kroger, Millican competed in the IHRA. He was noticed by investor Peter Lehman who asked him to drive his Top Fuel Car.

Soon after, Millican took the IHRA by storm and won six championships in seven years. Following this success, he moved over to the NHRA.

Then, in 2015 tragedy struck as Millican’s son Dalton passed away in a motorcycle accident at the age of 22.

That tragedy, however, gave way to triumph two years later. In a moment that seemed made for TV, Millican won his first ever NHRA event on none other than Father’s Day.

Since then, Millican has been on an absolute tear. He’s set track records, won two more events, and was within striking distance of 2018 champion Steve Torrence all season.

As the NHRA looks to expand its reach even further this season, it would be smart to turn the spotlight to Millican and his infectious smile.

At a time when even sports divides people, Clay Millican is someone we can all root for.

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

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 [Kloeber] 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.

The Joy of Drag Racing | Five Reasons You’ll Love the NHRA

When it comes to auto racing, Formula 1 is king worldwide and NASCAR reigns supreme here at home. That is, if you’re only going by the money and TV ratings. When it comes to pure racing, however, we’re convinced that NHRA drag racing can’t be beat.

Here are just a few reasons why we think the NHRA is the best game in town:

Heart-Stopping Action

 

How much action can you pack into 3.64 seconds? If you’re the NHRA, it turns out it’s quite a bit. That’s how much time the average Top Fuel race lasts.

F1 and NASCAR are long, slow burns lasting a few hours. NHRA races, on the other hand, start and finish before you can take a sip of your drink.

Given the short length, nearly every race results in a nail-biting photo finish, with merely a few feet between victory and defeat. Add to that the constant mix of flames, smoke and chrome and you have yourself something special.


Up Close and Personal


At an NHRA event, every single ticket is a Pit Pass.

People can watch the pit action from as close as five or 10 feet, meaning fans at these races have direct access to drivers and some of the most highly-skilled mechanics on Earth. Drivers more often than not will hang around after the race to personally sign autographs and take pictures with their fans.


Mechanical Greatness


NHRA dragsters are feats of engineering. Here’s a little math:

A top fuel dragster accelerates from a standstill to 100 mph (160 km/h) in as little as 0.8 seconds (less than one third the time required by a production Porsche 911 Turbo to reach 60 mph (100 km/h))[1] and can exceed 280 mph (450 km/h) in just 660 feet (200 m). This subjects the driver to an average acceleration of about 4.0 g0 (39 m/s2) over the duration of the race and with a peak of over 5.6 g0 (55 m/s2).

At maximum throttle and RPM, the exhaust gases escaping from a dragster’s open headers produce about 900–1,100 pounds-force (4.0–4.9 kN) of downforce. The huge airfoil over and behind the rear wheels produces much more, peaking at around 12,000 pounds-force (53 kN) when the car reaches a speed of about 330 mph (530 km/h).

If math isn’t your thing, here’s the short version:

Top Fuel cars go faster than any car you’ve likely ever driven, by a lot. To do this, they need to be very light. However, because they are light, all that force can lift them right off the ground. In addition, all that downforce and g force can literally tear the car apart.

Therefore, Top Fuel cars need to be incredibly well-engineered to hit all their marks on speed, safety and durability.

 

An All-Day Affair


Most sporting events last a few hours, meaning you’ll often spend more time getting to and from the event than at the actual event. Not so at a day at the NHRA races.

NHRA events are an all-day family affair, or even an all-weekend one for the dedicated. With lots of downtime between events, there is always plenty to see and do around the stadium.

 

 

Fun For The Whole Family


Most sports have pretty limited demographics. Not so with the NHRA.

Those unfamiliar with the NHRA might not know that women are well-represented in the sport and compete right alongside the men.

One great example of this is the Force family. NHRA legend John Force is 16-time Funny Car winner and one of the most dominant racers of all time. At 69 years old he still participates in nearly every major event of the season. Three of his daughters, Ashley, Brittany and Courtney, are major players in the sport as well.

This is reflected in the stands, too. NHRA races are multi-generational and popular among both men and women. This means everyone has fun at the events, not just Dad.


At Strutmasters, we love any and all auto racing, but the NHRA will always have our hearts. That’s why we sponsor.

Go Clay! Stomp that loud pedal!

Strutmasters is a proud sponsor of Clay Millican and the Stringer Performance Racing Team.

Three Weeks In and This NHRA Season Has Already Been Crazy

Let’s face it, there is nothing tame about professional drag racing, but just three weekends into the 2018 NHRA season and it’s already been one for the history books.

We’ve seen Clay Millican break his own Top Fuel record twice in one day. Then we saw Tony Schumacher break it the following week. Then Clay broke it again. Then Schumacher broke it again.

On the opening weekend we saw Brittany Force crash badly, only to see her father, NHRA legend John, involved in one of the scariest crashes we’ve ever seen this past weekend at the Arizona Nationals.



However, another member of the Force family, Courtney, won the Funny Car finals that same day at the Arizona Nationals, beating out Tommy Johnson, Jr. with a 3.834-second run at 337.16 mph

It isn’t even March and it has already been a wild and exciting year for drag racing. There’s no telling what the rest of this season has in store for all of us racing fans. Follow this link to the NHRA website to catch the dates for all of this season’s races:


At Strutmasters, we are proud sponsors of Clay Millican and the Stringer Performance Top Fuel racing team.

Clay Does it Again! Millican Breaks His Own Top Fuel Record

NHRA fan favorite Clay Millican broke the Top Fuel national time record and took the top position this past Saturday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals with a time of 3.628 seconds at 322.04 mph.

Millican also owned the previous record of 3.631 seconds, which he set the previous year in Madison, Illinois.

The Stringer Performance driver credited the people around him for the new record.

“My crew chief, David Grubnic, runs this car differently than anybody else out here, and he is just one of a kind,” said Millican.

Millican insists that he and the Stringer team aren’t done yet, despite the excitement over the new record.

“I knew it was a special run at the 330-foot mark, and I even shut the car off a bit early, so we know we can improve upon those numbers at some point.”

 


Strutmasters, always a champion of top-shelf performance, is a proud sponsor of Clay Millican and the Stringer Performance NHRA team.

SECOND YEAR IN A ROW MILLICAN TOPS QUALIFYING AND SETS TRACK RECORD AT U.S. NATIONALS

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Indianapolis, IN (September 4, 2017) – For the second year in a row, Clay Millican earned the No. 1 qualifying spot and set a Lucas Oil Raceway track record at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. He now has three of the top 10 quickest runs, in Top Fuel history.

 

On Saturday evening, Millican drove the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster to an elapsed time of 3.663 at 329.10 mph. This put him in the top qualifying spot, set the Top Fuel E.T. record at Lucas Oil Raceway and became the seventh fastest Top Fuel pass ever.

 

“My confidence is now at an all-time high. I know when I get in that race car it can run with anybody here, at any time, without a question. Our car is quick as anybody’s in the world right now,” Millican said. “This is a tune up David Grubnic has been working on for three years. This is his tune up, not somebody else’s he is massaging. Grubby never quits thinking and never sits still.”

 

On top of setting the record and qualifying No. 1, Millican made five clean passes that earned him 11 bonus points, which were critical to securing a spot in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. He attributes his recent success to his crew.

 

“It’s all about the people. We have all the right people in the right place. It starts with Doug and works its way down to the kids working on this car. They’re an amazing group of young guys,” Millican said. “Every Sunday night we get the crew together to talk about what went right, why we won and why we lost. They work so hard without the recognition they deserve. They are the ones that make this car go. We have a heck of a team. I’m more confident in this car than any other car I’ve driven in my life.”

 

Unfortunately, Millican made in early exit on race day. In the first round Millican came up against No. 16 qualifier, Kebin Kinsley. While Millican made a great pass of 3.756/323.97, Kinsley took the win on a holeshot running 3.813/318.02.

 

“It was a close race and I had a .077 reaction time, but Kebin had a .014 light. Hats off to him on a good run,” Millican said.

 

At the end of the day, Millican clinched the No.7 spot in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

 

Next up is the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 15 – 17, 2017. This is the first race in the Countdown, so points are reset and the Parts Plus/Great Clips/UNOH team will start from the seventh position with six races to reach the number one spot.

  

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

EARLY EXIT AT SONOMA NATIONALS DOESN’T DISCOURAGE MILLICAN

Sonoma, CA (July 30, 2017) – Eliminations at the Toyota NHRA Nationals did not go the way Clay Millican and the Stringer Performance team had hoped. For only the third time this year, the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster was eliminated in the first round of eliminations.

 

Millican came into race day qualified No. 8 with an elapsed time of 3.744 at 328.54 mph.

 

“We came out of the gate like gangbusters with our 3.744 run on Friday,” Millican said. “But then we missed the tune up on the next run and went up in smoke.”

 

In Round One Millican faced No.9 qualifier, Terry McMillen. Right from the start, the tires of the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio went up in smoke. McMillen took the win: 3.785/323.74 to 10.446/79.43. This is the fifth time this year that Millican and McMillen faced each other with the win loss record now being 3-2.

 

“It’s very unusual for our car to smoke the tires four runs in a row,” confessed Millican. “But Grubby, (Crew Chief David Grubnic), has pinpointed what the problem is and we will have it fixed before our next race in Seattle.”

 

Next up for the Stringer Performance team is the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Washington at Pacific Raceways August 4 – 6, 2016.

 

“Overall it was a good weekend. We’re halfway thru the Western Swing and our team is on it. We’re headed for Seattle and we have a new look for our car we can’t wait to show everyone,” Millican said.

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

MILLICAN DRIVES TO SONOMA WITH MOST CONSISTENT CAR ON TRACK

McLeansboro, IL (July 27, 2017) – Clay Millican is optimistic about the performance of his Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio Top Fuel dragster heading towards the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals. He had possibly the most consistent race car on the track this past weekend and he wants to keep the streak going.

 

“We ran a 3.79 three times in a row. We were one of the only cars who made consistent passes all three days,” Millican said. “Friday, I actually turned off early twice. We had no smoking tire issues and we were on a roll until a parts break in the second round Sunday.”

 

Millican is also happy to be headed towards the second leg of the NHRA Western Swing. Racing in Sonoma means a return to more familiar territory when it comes to tuning the Parts Plus/Great Clips/University of Northwestern Ohio dragster.

 

“The high altitude of Denver was so tricky for everyone,” Millican said. “We’ll be back at sea level in Sonoma and back to what we are comfortable with.”

 

Millican will also be racing the Great Clips, Shark Week themed paint scheme this weekend. Shark Week airs thru Sunday, July 30 on the Discovery Channel.

 

Fans will be able to watch all the action from the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals live on FOX Sports 1 this weekend.

 

2017 Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals Schedule (Pacific Time)

Friday, July 28

5:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying

8:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying

Saturday, July 29

2:00 p.m. Nitro Qualifying

5:00 p.m. Top Fuel Dragster Qualifying

5:35 p.m. Nitro Funny Car Qualifying

Sunday, July 30

11:00 a.m. Nitro Eliminations Begin

 

2017 Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals Television Coverage (Eastern Time)

Friday, July 28 – 11:00 p.m. Qualifying LIVE on FS1

Saturday, July 29 – 10:00 p.m. Qualifying on FS1

Sunday, July 30 – 4:00 p.m. Eliminations LIVE on FS1

 

About Stringer Performance

Established in 2015, Stringer Performance is entering its third year of competition in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with veteran Top Fuel driver Clay Millican. Owned by Doug Stringer who has a lengthy resume in the racing industry in both NHRA and NASCAR, the team is based in McLeansboro, IL where Stringer resides. The team is led by crew chief David Grubnic, a former NHRA Top Fuel driver turned tuner. Stringer Performance proudly boasts a solid lineup of marketing partners including marquee partners: Parts Plus, Great Clips and UNOH.

 

Social Media:

Facebook.com/StringerPerformance

Twitter: @StringerRacing

Instagram: @stringerperformance

 

Facebook.com/ClayMillican

Twitter: @ClayMillican

Instagram: @ClayMillican

Media Contact:

 

Nicole Clark-Erickson

Aries Media LLC

[email protected]

913-406-2969