Reign Delayed?

Semifinalist Clay Millican Aims to Pilot Parts Plus Dragster Toward Second Wally When Racing Resumes at Topeka

TOPEKA, KAN., May 21, 2018: After a forgettable Friday night of qualifying at the 30th annual Heartland Nationals in Topeka, Kan., Stringer Performance crew chief David Grubnic made some overnight adjustments that made the Parts Plus/Great Clips Top Fuel dragster very happy. And when the Parts Plus car’s happy, driver Clay Millican is typically tickled pink with the results.


On Saturday, Millican was grinning from ear to ear as he piloted his Parts Plus rocket straight down the groove in Q3 with a crowd-pleasing 3.739@331.12 mph that sent the Tennessee native into orbit, from No. 16 in the field to the No. 1 qualifying spot. And for the second straight week, the fourth time this season, and the 14th time in his Top Fuel career, Millican’s time held up the rest of the afternoon, putting the popular Parts Plus driver in position to do some great things on Sunday as the No. 1 qualifier.


“When I drove by the scoreboard, I couldn’t believe we had such a great run, but we are all excited to have jumped from the number 16 qualifier to the top of the board,” Millican says. “I’m giddy because our cars are running such high speeds, but that was just a crazy run altogether.”


On a race weekend where it seemed the Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster was destined to reign supreme, Mother Nature seemed to be the only thing capable of derailing the Parts Plus/Great Clips Top Fuel dragster’s run toward a second Wally.


Despite an eight-hour rain delay to start Sunday, the Parts Plus car maintained its sunny disposition and quickness when racing finally resumed. Lined up against No. 16 qualifier Terry Totten in the first round of eliminations, the Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster stormed off the line and never trailed for the win, posting a 3.780@331 mph, while Totten’s car was toast early.


Sporting the snazzy logo on its primary sponsorship spot for the weekend, the Parts Plus/Great Clips dragster remained red hot despite the cool, damp conditions. As temps dropped, the Parts Plus car’s speed increased. Millican ran 3.72 at 334.90, the third-fastest pass in class history, to beat Doug Kalitta in second round, shattering the track speed record for a second straight week.


Millican’s win light set up a semis matchup with Tony Schumacher, who advanced with a 3.93 after Leah Pritchett smoked the tires. Millican fans hoping to see their racing hero crowned later that night were disappointed when NHRA officials made the decision to postpone the remaining rounds until Monday, citing high dew point and dropping temperatures that made track conditions unsafe to continue racing.


Nonetheless, nothing could dampen Millican’s spirits as the Parts Plus driver plans to pick up right where he left off when racing resumes at 10 a.m. Central today.


“It’s been amazing how good Grubby has been this year,” Millican says. “We certainly would have liked to have continued this momentum, but I have so much confidence in this team and in this Parts Plus car right now. That’s what makes driving the quickest dragster on the planet so much fun. We’ll be ready to go on Monday morning.”