News & Updates

5 Things You Can Expect at the Carolina Collector Auto Fest

auto-fest-strutmasters

It’s finally here! The Carolina Collector Auto Fest is on this Saturday, May 18th in Roxboro, NC!

The event is set to be one of the largest gatherings of classic autos in the Carolinas this Spring. Under new management and in a new location, this year’s CCAF is set to be one of the best yet.

Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you visit the Carolina Collector Auto Fest:

Amazing Classic Autos

Let’s get the big one out of the way. This is what it’s all about.

The Carolina Classic Auto Fest is one of the best chances in the Southeast to see a bunch of incredibly beautiful and rare classic automobiles under one roof. The event features everything from road-run race cars like Dale Earnhardt Jr’s #88 Chevy to classics from every decade.

New to this year is the addition of newer (since 1990) cars as well as trucks and motorcycles!

Whether you’re looking to buy something or simply just looking, you’ll enjoy a rare chance to see some of the most beautiful machines ever produced.

Great Prizes (For Guests Too!)



With so many entries into the Auto Fest, there are lots of prizes to be given away.

There are 17 trophies to be given away in various categories. This year, participants will be divided into vehicles made after 1990, known as “New Kids on the Block” and “Classics,” vehicles produced before 1989.

Cash prizes will also be given away to participants. People with indoor spaces have the chance to win $1000. Participants with outdoor spaces can win $500.

Strutmasters founder and owner Chip Lofton will be on site to present the “Chip’s Choice” award to his personal favorite entry.

There are also tons of door prizes and giveaways that guests can win just for showing up! No entry into the Carolina Collector Auto Fest itself is required.

Great Food

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true festive event without great food to eat!

Fortunately, these days great food isn’t that hard to come by. The Carolina Collector Auto Fest will feature a variety of food vendors, so there’s sure to be something for everyone!

Fun for the Whole Family

The latest weather forecast shows a warm and mostly sunny day for Roxboro this Saturday. What better way to get out and enjoy it than to bring the family out for a day of classic cars, food and good times?

To go along with the classic cars, The Carolina Collector Auto Fest will also have classic music playing all day! Relive some of your favorites from “back in the day” while perusing fine automobiles with your friends and family.

You may also run into a few famous faces. Lou Santiago, the co-host of television’s CARFIX program, will be on site to present the award to the highest scoring Custom or Rat Rod. With Strutmasters becoming a household name in the world of racing, you never know who you might see!

Free Entry for Guests

In the past, the cost of a ticket might have given some people pause. This year, the Carolina Collector Auto fest has gone all in and made tickets free to guests!

When you arrive at 455 Lucy Garrett Rd in Roxboro, just walk right in! No need to buy tickets in advance or once you get there.

Free tickets means more cash to spend on food and fun!

The Carolina Collector Auto Fest will begin at 8 AM on Saturday, May 18th. Entry is free for guests. Visit the CCAF Facebook page for more information.

Acura MDX Owners: Replace Your Entire Suspension For Under $800

acura-mdx-fix-strutmasters

The Acura MDX is one of the Japanese luxury automaker’s most popular vehicles. In fact, according to parent company Honda, the “Multi-Dimensional Crossover” is the best-selling three-row crossover of all time.

The MDX carved a unique niche in the crowded crossover SUV market. It was the first crossover to feature third-row seating. Although it is Acura’s most expensive SUV, the price tag has not deterred buyers searching for a unique combination of luxury, space and performance.

However, many MDX owners are finding that with time, the car’s active suspension system loses its ability to keep the car at the proper ride height. Owners report experiencing a bumpy ride, a sagging rear end of the vehicle, electronic malfunctions and more.

Let’s take a look at why these active suspensions have such a high rate of failure.

Why the MDX suspension fails

The Acura MDX features innovative suspension technology that was new at the time. The suspension in your MDX (models with the Sport package) uses electromagnetically-controlled ferrofluids to dampen the pressure of the car meeting the road.

In other words, it uses a viscous fluid that can be controlled by a computer to respond to changes in the road and driving. While this technology shows tremendous promise and provides a unique adaptive ride, like any new technology it has its kinks to work out.

Performance-wise, there isn’t much to complain about. The magnetorheological shock absorber was developed by Honda and Beijing West.

Ferrofluids are a non-Newtonian liquid, meaning they defy some of the laws of physics typically regulating liquids. They have a unique ability to change their molecular shape almost instantly. Scientists and engineers are finding all sorts of cool things to do with them, like make them dance:



This same ability allows a computer to take a reading from a height sensor and instantly adjust the shape and viscosity of the fluid. It does this with the help of a control module.

While the science is very sound, this is still new. As we learned with air suspensions, new technology gets refined as it gets established. The biggest issue with these suspensions is durability.

Do I need to replace my MDX suspension?

Due to their complex nature, use of fluids and moving parts, the lifespan of these suspensions is limited. They are almost guaranteed to wear out at some point. This will happen one component at a time.

Even if you don’t scoff at the nearly $1,000 price tag of an electronic strut replacement, you will eventually be replacing all of them. Other components, like the control module and height sensors, can also be costly to buy and install.  

From an ownership standpoint, it makes sense to replace everything at once. Knowing that everything is eventually going to wear out, it’s better to get it all done while you’ve got it on the shop floor.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s probably time to consider replacing the suspension.

  • Your MDX takes too long to stop (but brakes are fine)
  • Overly noisy compressor
  • Fails the “bounce test”
  • Rear end sags down when car is stopped
  • Unable to maintain proper ride height
  • Leans or tilts to one side

But is replacing your OEM suspension the only option? Thanks to Strutmasters, the answer is a resounding NO!

A simple alternative

Rather than shell out thousands for a replacement suspension, consider just ending the problem altogether. Instead of a complex and costly electronic system, you can just replace the entire thing with a robust and dependable coil suspension.

At just $999, you can replace all four wheels of your MDX and kill the suspension warning light with this kit from Strutmasters. That’s more or less what it would cost to replace just one of your electronic struts!

Our engineering team has designed this kit to be simple and easy for anyone to install at home. With a proper jack and some tools you probably already have at home you can replace all four wheels in an afternoon. You don’t even need to worry about costly labor fees at the shop.

These struts have been tirelessly engineered to give you and your passengers the perfect ride. Strutmasters’ patented Glide Ride technology will have your MDX feeling brand new again.

Backed by a Limited Lifetime Warranty, we guarantee this new suspension will last as long as your MDX is on the road. That means once you install it, you’ll never have to spend your hard-earned money on your MDX suspension again.


Once you’re ready to convert, give our Suspension Experts a call at (866) 985-0387. They’ll make sure you get exactly what you need and have you riding high once again!

Consistent Clay Millican Moves Into Third Place Overall

millican-third-strutmasters

Clay Millican has yet to win an event overall in the 2019 season. However, heading into the Arby’s Southern Nationals he is right where he needs to be.

After a few very close calls, Millican is without a win on the season but is sitting in third place. The Drummonds, Tennessee native is just 66 points behind leader Steve Torrence. Only 34 points separate him and second-place Doug Kalitta.

Before the season there were questions about how Millican and his crew would adjust to the offseason shift. It appears those questions have been put to rest.

The Significance of Third Place

At third place, Millican is back where he finished last season, his best yet in the NHRA. With a building buzz around the driver of Parts Plus/Strutmasters.com dragster, that could be significant.

Millican outwardly recognized that the team’s third place finish last season was a stepping stone towards the ultimate prize. After early-season adjustments, Millican looks to be picking up right where he left off.

Sitting in third place with his team on a clear upward trajectory, Millican is brimming with his usual blend of sunny optimism and steely competitive confidence.

“We just have to maintain consistency going down the track,” Millican said. “If we do that, we’ll turn win lights on. If we can maintain consistency, that consistency will get us wins.”

Finding a winning formula

Millican and new crew chief Mike Kloeber are hoping to revive the winning ways of their IHRA days. It hasn’t taken long for the pair to start putting together some great runs.

“Mike was able to get a handle on what the car wants and needs,” said Millican. “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.”

Kloeber is quickly learning the ins and outs of the more-than 10,000 HP dragster. The team struggled a bit early on. Millican placed 10th and 11th in the first two races of the season and was sitting outside the top 10 overall.

Since then, the team has been surging. There was the nail-biter of a finish in Gainesville. The top 5 finish in Houston. With every close finish, the confidence of the team grows.

Looking forward to Atlanta

Heading into the weekend, Millican and Co. will look to solidify their place at the top of the leaderboard. As they search for their first win of the season, expect Millican to kick everything into high gear.
It was at this point in the 2018 season that things started to pick up for Clay. If the team wants to prove to the NHRA world that they are serious contenders for the 2019 championship, a win would go a long way towards accomplishing that goal.

With periodic rain predicted throughout the weekend, Millican and Kloeber’s experience should pay off. However, in one of the most exciting NHRA Top Fuel seasons yet, anything can happen.

Make sure to watch Millican and others like Brittany Force, Antron Brown and Leah Pritchett at the Arby’s Southern Nationals. Check the TV schedule here to find all of the live broadcasts!  

Strutmasters Sponsors Johnny Pluchino in NHRA Debut

strutmasters-pluchino-mustang

Racer Johnny Pluchino announced on April 22nd that he signed with Strutmasters.com to launch his NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock career. The 2018 PDRA Pro Outlaw 632 world champion is the son of 2016 Extreme Pro Stock world champion John Pluchino.

The younger Pluchino will make his Mountain Motor Pro Stock debut at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee. He will also compete at the NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire in July.

“Pro Stock has been something I’ve had my eye on forever,” said Pluchino. “It’s my end goal, It’s what I’ve always wanted to race, It’s what I’ve been around my whole life, It’s what I enjoy the most. Everybody has their Top Fuel, their Funny Car, their Pro Mod – Pro Stock is it for me. It’s what I love.”

Strutmasters’ portfolio keeps growing

Pluchino is the latest addition to the growing portfolio of racers sponsored by Strutmasters, a North Carolina-based suspension part manufacturer.

The driver contacted Strutmasters owner Chip Lofton through Facebook. Lofton had been following the father-son team in their PRDA competition. An emerging sponsor in the world of drag racing, Lofton was happy to offer a two-race deal in the NHRA’s brand-new Mountain Motor Pro Stock exhibition racing series.

“One of the very best things about the NHRA is the unique family atmosphere the sport has,” said Lofton. “Johnny and his father are a great story, with both of them having won world championships in the last few years. It’s a great opportunity to get into a new racing series with a driver that has a big future in front of him.”

Pluchino says thanks

Pluchino expressed gratitude for the sponsorship and for the groundwork laid by his father.

“I’m able to accomplish my dreams because of Strutmasters.com and the program my dad’s put together,” Pluchino said. “Dad’s in the points hunt over in PDRA, so we’re going to leave him in that and I’m going to stick to the points hunt in Pro Outlaw 632. We’re going to be able to go out and put on a show at Bristol and Epping.”

A (not-so) new racing class

The new NHRA Mountain Pro Stock program is a quarter-mile race. It features cars sporting bigger engines than traditional Pro Stock cars. Not only will the class and race be new for NHRA fans, it will be new for Pluchino as well.

Prior to his NHRA debut, Pluchino has only ever made eighth-mile passes in a competitive setting. However, the driver is confident that the innumerable runs he has made in his Pro Outlaw 632 car have prepared him.

“To be completely honest, in a Pro Stock car everything happens in the first half of the run with the gear changes and everything,” said Pluchino. “The rest of it is holding on, getting the ‘chutes out and getting it stopped. I’m not saying that’s not a challenge, because of course it is. Things can go wrong, especially at 225 mph. I’m very aware of that. But I’m definitely excited for this new learning curve.”

Pluchino is a long time fan of racing. Therefore, he is well aware of the rich history that Mountain Motor Pro Stock racing has had in Bristol and Epping.

“There should be a lot of Mountain Motor fans at those races and I’m excited to interact with them,” Pluchino said. “I always have a lot on my mind, a lot that I’ll say, and I’m definitely one to speak my mind.”

The young racer already has accomplished career under his belt. Now withs putting dollars behind him, Pluchino is ready for the spotlight of the NHRA.

“If there’s a camera in front of my face or a fan in front of me,” said Pluchino, “I’ll make sure they know why I’m there and how I got there.”

What Makes Top Fuel Racing So Special? A Look Inside the Cars

top-fuel-strutmasters

There’s no doubt about it. Top Fuel dragsters are a feat of modern engineering.

After taking off from the starting line, Top Fuel cars hit 100 miles per hour in less than a second. This makes the dragster the fastest accelerating anything on planet earth. Not just cars. It’s faster than anything else.

The engine distributes power to the wheels in just 15/100ths of a second. Literally the blink of an eye.

When they are accelerating, the drivers of Top Fuel dragsters feel G-forces that are comparable to an astronaut launching into space.

These cars are so fast, traditional braking systems do little to slow them down. After crossing the finish line, drivers hit a switch to deploy two parachutes. The wind resistance brings the car to a stop.

Top Fuel dragsters were built to do one thing: travel a short distance in a very, very short amount of time. To do that, they need to be extremely fast.

But what makes these Top Fuel dragsters so unique? Let’s take a look at what makes a Top Fuel car a Top Fuel car.

What makes Top Fuel top fuel?



The name “Top Fuel” doesn’t just sound cool, it refers to the fuel used by the dragsters. Regular old gasoline does not generate the power necessary to propel these cars as fast as they need to go.

For that, you need nitromethane.

Nitromethane is like gasoline that comes with its own oxygen. That means it burns much more easily than gasoline. This has a lot to do with its structure.

While nitromethane produces less energy by weight than gasoline, a cylinder can burn much more of it. This means more power for each stroke of the piston.

A standard gasoline engine needs nearly 15 pounds of air to burn one pound of regular gas. An engine only needs 1.7 pounds of air to burn a pound of nitromethane.That means you can push eight times as much nitromethane into a cylinder as you would be able to with gasoline.

The result, after some pretty complex mathematics, is an engine that triples its power. This is just due to the different types of fuel.

It may seem a little counterintuitive, but nitromethane actually burns a little slower than gasoline. Therefore, the engine of a Top Fuel dragster pushes burning fuel into the exhaust pipe. That’s why you’ll see flames coming out of the back of dragsters!

A seismic force



Anything that produces that much power is bound to rattle a few things around it.

However, Top Fuel dragsters take it to another level.

Fans are often given ear plugs at events and told to cover their ears by the PA announcer just before the race begins. But even with all that, fans are still in for a loud experience.

At full throttle, a Top Fuel dragster generates 150 db of noise. That’s about the same as a shotgun or jet engine. It’s loud enough to cause physical pain or immediate permanent damage.

And it’s not just the noise. These cars literally shake the ground.

At one point, the NHRA got a team of seismologists to measure the ground at the starting line. Two cars taking off from the starting line read a 2.3 on the Richter scale. That’s a small earthquake, for reference.

Don’t take our word for it



David “Grubby” Grubnic is a familiar face for anyone who follows drag racing.

Grubnic started out in the NHRA as a Top Fuel driver. In his stint behind the wheel he earned three victories, 10 number 1 qualifiers and finished fourth overall at one point.

In 2015, Grubnic switched from driver to tuner and immediately became one of the top in the sport.

Tuning for Clay Millican, Grubnic earned a third-place finish in 2018.

So it’s safe to say he knows his stuff. Here’s a wonderful introduction to everything that makes a Top Fuel car special, spoken by a man who knows as much as anyone can know about it:

As mind-boggling as everything in that video is, some of those figures are outdated. Today’s Top Fuel cars now regularly exceed 10,000 horsepower!

You have to see it for yourself

Top Fuel racing is literally the world’s fastest sport. The words and even the video on this page don’t do it justice.

While drivers like Clay Millican, Steve Torrence, and Brittany Force may be the faces we all see on TV, so much of the race happens in the garage between heats.

There is no way to really get it without seeing it for yourself.

All NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series events are now broadcast on FS1. You can find a schedule of events here, so make sure to tune in at home to catch the action yourself!

Or even better yet, go to an event in person. You won’t believe what you’ve been missing.

Four-Wide Racing: A Different Kind of Challenge

four-wide-racing-strutmasters

When the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals kick off today, NHRA fans will be treated to a different form of drag racing. Also referred to as “bracket racing,” the four-wide format offers a different kind of challenge.

We thought this might be a good chance to introduce the ins and outs of four-wide racing fans and readers.

The Four-Wide Format: How it Works

Four-Wide races pit four racers against each other, rather than the traditional two, in each round. The first two to finish advance to the next round.

This means that drivers who would have given up on a run in the two-wide format might continue the run in pursuit of a second-place finish.

As a result, many feel that the four-wide format rewards consistency much more than the two-wide format.

New Challenges

Drivers say that trust in your crew chief is extra important in the four-wide format. Simply hearing more than just one other car at the line means the run-up preparation to the race changes for the driver.

A driver must trust that their crew chief has taken account of how long the other cars have been running. This changes the driver’s timing in backing up and doing a burnout.

Rolling forward to the staging procedure is perhaps the most challenging part of the format. Visually, drivers are accustomed to looking at the light furthers to their right. So if, for example, a driver is in Lane 2, that light would actually be for Lane 4.

In a sport where a thousandth of a second can make a world of difference, even the slightest distraction can be a factor.

Staging Challenges

The four-wide format also presents staging challenges.

Due to a lengthier staging time, staging first puts drivers at risk of building up too much heat in the engine or clutch. They also risk burning too much fuel if another driver is taking a long time to stage, sometimes intentionally.

Drivers who stage last might fall victim to a “quick Tree.” While the lights are randomized, they can start as soon as the final driver is staged. That could catch the final driver to stage not being ready to go.

Challenges During a Four-Wide Race

In a standard two-wide race, drivers can easily get a feel for where their opponent is. However, trying to get a visual read on three other opponents can be a major distraction. Drivers need to really dial in and focus during the race.

A four-wide race is also exponentially louder for the driver than its two-wide counterpart. Drivers are less able to rely on conventional audio cues to get a sense of where they are and where they need to be.

In general, the margin of error is that much slimmer in the four-wide format.

What to Expect

First and foremost, expect a wild time. The crowd at The Strip in Las Vegas is enormous. The different format is exciting. Drivers will be going all-out.

But beyond that, look for more experienced and crafty drivers to pull out some wins.

Fan-favorite Clay Millican, a veteran of the four-wide racing format, said in an interview last week that he was looking forward to the challenge.

“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.”


Coverage of the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals begins Friday, April 5th at 9:30 PM on FS1.

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

millican-vegas-strutmasters

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.”

How a Bad Lexus GX 470 Suspension Can Destroy Your Entire Vehicle

Fix Lexus GX 470 Suspension problems

Are you having trouble with your Lexus GX 470 air suspension? Is your Lexus sagging in the rear or leaning to one side? Have you noticed that it’s taking you longer to stop than usual even though your brakes are fine?

Whether you’re starting to notice the warning signs or are seeing a suspension warning light in your Lexus GX 470, it’s more than just a comfort issue. It’s more than just a safety issue too.

Driving around on bad struts does serious damage to your Lexus. Delaying repairs to your car will only result in more expense and more safety hazards.

Here are some of the ways driving around on a busted air suspension harms your vehicle:

Your Lexus GX 470 Brakes Will Suffer

When you think about what stops your car, you most likely think of your brakes. While your brakes are what stop your wheels from moving, it is your struts that absorb much of the force between the wheels and the body of your Lexus.

If your struts aren’t working properly, your Lexus’ brakes will have to use much more force to stop the car. That means that they will wear out prematurely.

The additional stress on your GX 470’s brakes can also cause extreme heat buildup. This can damage not only the brake calipers, but the wheels as well.

The Joints Will Wear Down

As we mentioned before, the struts in your car absorb most of the stress between the wheels and your car’s body. When they are functioning properly, your struts and shocks protect the joints on your Lexus GX 470.

However, once the air suspension on your Lexus starts to fail, the joints will bear more of the stress from road travel.

These joints are moving parts. Like all moving parts, they are prone to wearing down. Even under regular stress, they will wear down eventually. With the additional stress from driving on bad struts, these joints will wear out prematurely.

Weak joints present very serious safety issues for your Lexus. Ensuring that your struts are doing the job properly will protect them.

Uneven Wear On Your Tires

When your Lexus’ air suspension is functioning properly, it minimizes the up and down travel of the wheels across the road surface. That ensures that your tires will wear evenly over time.

When the air suspension on your Lexus GX 470 starts to go, the wheels will bounce up and down more than they are supposed to. This will cause uneven, premature wear on the tires.

Consequently, uneven tires will cause the tires themselves to travel more unevenly. This causes an exponential wear and tear problem that will only get worse over time.

Your GX 470 Steering System Will Have a Hard Time

Your Lexus’ air suspension plays a large role in helping you steer the car.

A healthy suspension will allow you to handle the car easily, with minimal resistance. Once the suspension wears down, however, it will become more difficult to steer the car.

Like with the other components, the increased stress has a snowball effect on your Lexus’ steering system. The struts and shocks in your car are a connection point between the steering column and the wheels themselves.
Reducing the efficiency of the steering system puts you and your passengers at risk. It also takes a tremendous toll on all the components involved.

Don’t let the cost of air suspension replacement stop you from having a working suspension. This conversion kit will allow you to convert your Lexus GX 470 from that troublesome air suspension to a sturdy, reliable coilover suspension for just under $400.

Each kit comes with a Limited Lifetime Guarantee. Stop spending money on that air suspension and fix the problem for good today!

Check Out Clay Millican’s Awesome New Parts Plus/Strutmasters Dragster

NHRA fan favorite Clay Millican’s Top Fuel dragster will be sporting a brand new look at the 2018 season’s inaugural race at Pomona on February 7.

The ultra-clean redesign evokes the color schemes and lines of the dragsters of the 1960s and 1970s. It features classic red and white and increased prominence of the Strutmasters.com logo.

The Roxboro, North Carolina-based “Suspension Experts” have once again increased their support for the Millican team.

“We developed an awesome, new look for Part Plus/Strutmasters.com dragster, semi transporters, uniforms and more that matches our goals and ambitions,” Millican said.

SSI Decals provided the decals used in the redesign and applied them as well.

Millican’s car redesign is just one of many changes the team has seen over the offseason. Straightline Strategy Group, LLC took over ownership of the team from Stringer Performance at the end of 2018.

After setting records and finishing third overall, the aggressive moves came as a surprise to some around the sport.

“Change is a scary word as fear of the unknown can keep people from moving forward,” said Millican. “But I’ve fully embraced this change even with the valleys and hills that are expected in the process.”

In addition, the Top Fuel team hired Mike Kloeber to replace David Grubnic as crew chief. Millican’s team also hired long-time veteran Jack Wyatt as car chief and a whole new crew.

“It’s been deja-vu of sorts with Mike and Jack back in the shop,” said Millican. “I have total confidence that they will provide the performance we need with the new parts that have been arriving daily. Our new look and our new crew will be in the hunt for a championship this year.”