The wheels keep turning for Clay Millican and the Straightline Strategy Group over this NHRA offseason. It was announced earlier this week that veteran tuner Jim Oberhofer would be joining the Straightline Strategy Group. SSG is the racing team which owns Millican’s Parts Plus/Strutmasters Top Fuel car.
Before moving over to SSG, Oberhafer most recently worked on Kebin Kinsley’s Top Fuel dragster. Before that, he spent spending several years as the head tuner for Doug Kalitta’s car.
Oberhofer will start off the season working with new crew chief Mike Kloeber on Millican’s car. He will then move over to serve a full-time position on Paul Lee’s Funny Car, also owned by SSG.
Paul Lee’s Big Comeback
Racing fans, along with friends and family, will be happy to see Lee behind the wheel. He has spent the last two years rehabbing from a massive heart attack and a surgery that required three stents to be placed in his main artery. He had previously retired following the ordeal.
“I am excited to join SSG and getting back doing what I love most, driving and competing in the McLeod Racing Nitro Funny Car in NHRA,” said Lee. “After two years of hard work recovering from my heart attack, I can hardly believe I get to go race again. Driving a Nitro Funny Car has been my lifelong passion. I’m also looking forward to teaming with Clay Millican, working with my buddy Jim-O, and excited to work with the entire SSG organization. SSG will be a powerhouse team now and into the future.”
More Moves for Straightline Strategy Group
The moves to bring in Lee and Oberhofer are part of a larger strategy by SSG to diversify their racing outfit. The company also brought three other drag racers on board as part of the plan: Matt Hartford, who celebrated his first Pro Stock national event win during the 2018 season, No-Prep Kings/Street Outlaw driver Jeff Lutz, and Harley-Davidson racer Janette Thornley.
Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales Steven Cole, who is also new to the SSG team after spending time with John Force Racing, is optimistic about the aggressive moves the company is making.
“Simply put, there is strength in diversity and numbers as it concerns marketing partners,” said Cole. “We can bring expanded exposure opportunities through multiple major platforms [classes] in drag racing that will no doubt prove beneficial for sponsors.”
The off-season moves reflect a big push for the company behind Millican, who finished third overall in the NHRA Top Fuel series this season. It is clear that next year’s goal is nothing short of a national racing title.