Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Team Has Competitive
Weekend at Northwest Nationals in Seattle
Seattle - The Tuttle Motosports team showed improvement on every run at the O'Reilly Northwest Nationals in Seattle which gave them and their driver Clay Millican some momentum going into the second half of the season. "The Seattle race was a real good stepping stone for Brainard" Millican said. Brainard will be an important race for all of the NHRA teams that have yet to secure a spot in the Countdown to the Championship.
Millican qualified the Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster in the 14th position with a 3.96 at 305 MPH. In round one, Millican took on Shawn Langdon who qualified third. At the hit it was Langdon out of the gate first with Millican in hot pursuit. But Millican was never able to catch up as Langdon not only took the win but low ET of the event as well. Langdon registered a strong 3.78 at 317 MPH to Millican's valiant 3.87 at 309 MPH which was his best run of the weekend.
While early round losses are never easy, Millican was happy with how the Tuttle Motorsports team performed. "I'm really proud of how our team picked this car up after the first round of qualifying to the first round of eliminations. We picked up a tenth from where we started and made five good runs without ever hurting anything" Millican said.
With the conclusion of the Western Swing, the Parts Plus / Liquid MPG team will head east to Brainard after the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series takes a week off. Clay Millican is now in 12th place for the Countdown with two more events to go.
Millican Upsets Top Qualifier with Hole Shot in Sonoma
Sonoma CA - Clay Millican in Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster used a hole shot to upset number one qualifier Brittany Force at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals.
Millican, who has a great record of leaving on his opponents all season, qualified on the bump spot with a 4.29 to face Force who qualified on the pole with an impressive 3.76. Millican had his work cut out for him since it's not often that the sixteenth qualifier beats the number one qualifier.
At the hit, Millican put his experience and quick reaction times to work and scored a 0.056 reaction time to Force’s 0.095. Both cars were on a good run all the way down the track but Millican was able to hold on for the win even though Force had a slightly quicker elapsed time of 3.90 at 308 MPH. Millican had a slower 3.92 at 305 MPH to take the first round victory.
Millican then moved on to face Khalid alBalooshi in round two. At the hit, Millican was again out in front of his opponent but sadly lost traction and went up in smoke. Meanwhile, alBalooshi was on a clean run and took the win.
This coming weekend, Millican and the Tuttle Motorsports team will give it another shot as the NHRA Mello Yello Series heads north to Seattle for the NHRA Northwest Nationals. Seattle is the final event in the three race western swing.
Millican Loses Traction in the Mile High City
Denver - Due to the high altitude and hot conditions, performance has always been a struggle for any race team competing at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals. But this weekend it was traction that was in short supply for the Parts Plus/Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster team.
Clay Millican qualified 14th with a 4.17 at 277 MPH to take on former NHRA Champion Larry Dixon. As the lights came down on the tree, Millican got a jump on Dixon at the starting line with an 0.064 light to Dixon’s 0.082. Unfortunately for Millican, he lost traction and coasted while Dixon cruised to victory. Dixon recorded a 3.96 at 268 MPH to Millican’s 4.74 at 170 MPH.
The Parts Plus/Liquid MPG team now moves on to Sonoma, California for the second race of the Western Swing.
Millican Takes Two Steps Back in Norwalk
Norwalk OH - After a pair of final four finishes at the past two events, Clay Millcan did not survive the opening round of eliminations in Norwalk at the NHRA Summit Nationals. Millican qualified in the 14th position with a 3.88 to set up a first round meeting with Antron Brown, who qualified third with a strong 3.76.
At the hit, Brown got out of the gate first with an 0.056 to Millican’s 0.070. Brown's momentum carried him all the way down Broadway where he crossed the finish line first with a 3.75 at 324 MPH. Millican recorded a 4.03 at 241 MPH in a valiant effort.
After a short break, the Parts Plus/Liquid MPG team moves west to Denver for the Mopar NHRA Nationals, July 18-20 at Bandimere Speedway.
Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Team Continues to Make Progress and Go Rounds
Chicago - Clay Millican continued where he left off in Epping by going all the way to the semifinals for the second straight race. This time Millican went to the final four at the 17th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago.
Millican qualified 15th in a stout field which included 19 Top Fuel dragsters battling it out to get into sixteen car field.
In round one, Millican got some revenge as he dispatched hometown favorite Tony Schumacher from the field in a very close race. Millican, who has been leaving on everyone this season got off the line first with an 0.076 to Schumacher’s close 0.077. Millican was able to hold on and grab the stripe in a tight win. Millican rang up a 3.84 at 312 MPH to Schumacher’s 3.86 at 323 MPH.
In round two, Millican took care of Bob Vandergriff. Again, Millican was out of the gate first with a 0.062 to Vandergriff’s 0.100. From there it was all Parts Plus as Millican rang up a 4.67 at 152 MPH to Vandergriff’s traction plagued 9.28.
In the semifinals, Millican faced former NHRA Champ Antron Brown. This time it was the opponent who got the starting line advantage. Brown got out of the hole with an 0.044 to Millican’s 0.072. At the finish line it was Brown as he crossed the stripe first with a 3.96 at 308 MPH to Millican’s 4.47 at 196 MPH. Millican had slowed because he broke an intake adjuster on the hit. Brown went on to secure the Route 66 title.
The Parts Plus/Liquid MPG team now heads to Norwalk, Ohio for the Summit NHRA Nationals held over the Independence Day weekend.
Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Team Rebounds in New England with Big Semifinal Finish
Epping NH - Clay Millican driving the Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster chased away the mid-season blues they experienced in Bristol with a great semifinal finish at the second annual Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals. The trip to Epping was the best outing so far this season for the Tuttle Motorsports team.
Millican, who qualified 13th took out number 4 qualifier Britteny Force in round one. At the hit, Force was out of the gate first with an 0.066 to Millican’s 0.098. Force then shook the tires which allowed Millican to make up for the disadvantage at the starting line and then charged to the finish line for a well deserved first round win. Millican scored a 3.92 at 305 MPH over Force's 4.56 at 274 MPH to advance in eliminations.
In the second round, Millican drew JR Todd driving for Kalitta Racing. This time Millican was out of the gate first with an 0.051 reaction time to Todd’s 0.079. Millican never trailed and grab the win light with a 3.834 at 318 MPH to Todd’s nearly identical 3.836 at 320 MPH.
In round three, Millican took on yet another one of the multi-car teams. This time it was the former NHRA Champion, Tony Schumacher driving the US Army car for DSR. As the lights came down it was Millican with the starting line advantage with an 0.074 to Schumacher’s 0.077. Schumacher over powered Millican without losing any traction and never lost the lead. Schumacher recorded a 3.82 at 322 MPH to Millican’s valiant 3.86 at 316 MPH. Schumacher would go on to win the event.
The Parts Plus/Liquid MPG team now heads to Chicago for the O’Reilly Route 66 Nationals this coming weekend hoping to capitalize on the success they had in New England this past weekend.
Parts Plus Team Suffers Early Loss at Summernationals
(Englishtown NJ) Clay Millican didn’t have the kind of weekend that the Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster is capable of at the historic NHRA Summernationals. The popular Drummonds, Tennessee driver qualified on the bump spot only to face the top qualifier, Doug Kalitta, in the first round of eliminations.
At the hit, Millican was out of the box first with an 0.066 reaction time to Kalitta’s 0.096. Unfortunately for Millican, he started to lose traction and then went up in smoke while Kalitta claimed the stripe with the third quickest pass of the round. Kalitta stopped the clock with a 3.78 to Millican’s traction plagued 6.50.
Next, the team travels to Millican’s home state of Tennessee in two weeks for the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, June 13-15.
Millican Picks Up the Pace in Topeka
(Topeka KS)- Clay Millican driving the Parts Plus/Liquid MPG Dragster picked up the pace slightly in Topeka by qualifying 15th with a 4.39 and making a valiant run in round one.
In the opening round, Millican drew former Tuttle Motorsports driver JR Todd. At the hit Millican was out of the gate first with an 0.077 reaction time to Todd’s 0.091. Unfortunately for Millican, he began mixing up cylinders and then pushed out a head gasket. Todd was able to capitalize on Millican’s misfortunes and grabbed the win light with a 3.81 at 320 MPH to Millican’s 4.04 at 250 MPH.
The Parts Plus/Liquid MPG team now takes a three week break until the NHRA tour moves on to Bristol for the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals, June 13-15.
Millican Goes to Quarter Final Round in Atlanta
(Atlanta) It was a wild weekend in Atlanta due to the weather which produced a marginal racing surface on Sunday and delayed much of the racing until Monday when the conditions vastly improved.
After a long rain delay, the Safety Safari got the track dried in time to run the first round of Top Fuel on Sunday evening. It would turn out that much of the spotlight would be on the third pairing between number two qualifier Bob Vandergriff and Tuttle Motorports’ own Clay Millican who qualified 15th with a 4.18 at 206 MPH.
At the launch, Millican did a masterful job getting off the starting line first with the sun glaring in his eyes and was still able to produce a 0.104 reaction time. Vandergriff also suffered from sun glare but was unable to leave on time as a result. Just as Milican left the line, he smoked the tires and then banged the blower but was able to coast to the finish line. Meanwhile, Vandergriff got crossed up and went up on two wheels which caused him to cross the center line but was still able to save the car. The center line foul gave the round win to Millican in the Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster.
In round two, Millican faced Spencer Massey who had lane choice. At the hit, Millican was out first with a great starting line advantage and lead most of the way until he banged the blower at half track. At that point, Massey was able to get around Millican and take the stripe for the win. Massey recorded a 3.86 at 278 MPH to Millican’s valiant 4.18 at 195 MPH. The team now moves on to Topeka for the NHRA Kansas Nationals this weekend.
Millican Saves Best Run for Eliminations in Houston
(Baytown TX) Clay Millican showed improvement during eliminations at the 27th annual O’Reilly NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries held at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston.
In qualifying, Millican driving Dexter Tuttle’s Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster qualified in the 15th position with a 4.05 at 250 MPH.
In the first round, Millican drew Antron Brown, who qualified second with a powerful 3.78 at 322 MPH. Brown has won his last twelve opening round races when starting from the second position so the odds were in the favor of the former World Champ to continue the trend. But that didn’t stop Millican, Tuttle and crew chief Jimmy Walsh from coming up with a strategy for a quicker tuneup to get past the potent Matco Tools car.
At the hit, Brown was out of the gate first with an 0.052 light to Millican’s 0.090. Brown maintained a slight lead all the way to the finish line but Millican gave it everything he had with his best performance of the weekend, a valiant 3.89 at 305 MPH to Brown’s slightly quicker 3.84 at 318 MPH.
The Parts Plus / Liquid MPG team will take three weeks off before moving on to the NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta, May 16-18.
Parts Plus - Liquid MPG Team Takes on Four Wide Nationals
(Concord N.C.) Clay Millican driving Dexter Tuttle’s Parts Plus - Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster competed at the NHRA Four Wide Nationals, April 11-13. The Four Wide Nationals is a unique and spectacular event where NHRA Mellow Yellow series drivers compete in groups of four at the same time during qualifying and eliminations.
As was the case in Las Vegas, Millican, qualified 13th with a 3.90 at 270 MPH. This would set up a foursome between Clay, Antron Brown, Brittany Force and Leah Pritchett. At the start of the run, Millican had an 0.069 reaction time and then dropped a cylinder during the pass to finished third in the foursome with a 3.98 at 285 MPH. Sadly, a broken exhaust adjuster broke which slowed the car down and eliminated Clay from further competition.
The NHRA now returns to more conventional racing when the tour heads to Houston, Texas, April 25-27th for the NHRA O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals.
Parts Plus Team Fights Clutch Problem in Vegas
(Las Vegas) Clay Millican in the Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster lost a tough battle in the first round the Summit Racing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas. The team has been battling some clutch problems as of late and are valiantly trying to get them solved while still qualifying at every event.
Millican qualified lucky number 13 with a 3.87 at 295 MPH. This paired him up with number four qualifier Spencer Massey, who qualified with a decent 3.80 at 320 MPH.
In round one, it was Massey out of the gate first with a 0.048 reaction time to Millican’s 0.057. As Massey lengthened his lead, Millican then had a clutch problem near the finish line but still ran a 4.21 at only 207 MPH. However, it wasn’t enough to stop Massey’s 3.80 at 320 MPH.
Next, the team heads east to Charlotte NC for the Four Wide Nationals, April 11-13.
Millican Has a Little Too Much Power in Round One at NHRA Amalie Oil Gatornationals
(Gainesville FL) Clay Millican made his first east coast appearance of the year at the highly anticipated NHRA Amalie Oil Gatornationals. The event is one of the biggest NHRA events of the year and one that every driver wants to add to their list of wins and career accomplishments.
In qualifying, Millican driving for Dexter Tuttle was on track for a successful outing as he landed 12th with a respectable 3.86 at 308 MPH in the Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster.
In round one, Millican took on long time Kalitta Racing pilot David Grubnic. At the hit, Millican was out of the gate first with an 0.061 to Grubnic’s 0.089. Unfortunately for Millican, a little too much power was unleashed at the starting line and the Parts Plus / Liquid MPG entry lost traction and smoked the tires. Grubnic, was long gone but began to experience some problems near the 1000 foot mark but his sizable lead was enough to score the win.
The team now moves on to Las Vegas for the NHRA Summit Nationals March 28-30th.
Millican Exits Early in the Arizona Desert
Phoenix - After a great start to the season at the NHRA Winternationals, Clay Millican driving Dexter Tuttle’s Parts Plus / Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster fought traction at the Car Quest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. The event took place at the newly refurbished Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park located just south of Phoenix.
Millican, qualified 13th with a decent 3.84 at 313 MPH to face the reining Top Fuel Champion Shawn Langdon, who qualified fourth with a 3.76 at 323 MPH. At the starting line it was Langdon out of the gate first but Millican was not far behind. As Millican began to gain some momentum he started to loose traction as the car shook hard and smoked the tires. He then had no choice but to abandon the pass and wisely shut it off. Meanwhile, Lanngdon made a strong run to advance into the next round.
It was a tough loss but the team will regroup and get ready for their next event at the NHRA Gatornationals, March 13-16. Tuttle Motorsports would like to thank their sponsors Parts Plus, Liquid MPG, Bendix and Exide Batteries.
Millican and Tuttle Have an Exciting Debut at the
Circle K NHRA Winternationals
(Pomona) Clay Millican made his debut in Dexter Tuttle’s Parts Plus - Liquid MPG Top Fuel Dragster at the season opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals. By all accounts the Winternationals was a dramatic new start for Tuttle, Millican and the return of former crew chief Jimmy Walsh.
The team almost didn’t make it into the elimination rounds as the trio was on the outside looking in until the final qualifying session when it was do or die. Millican was forced to make a Hale Mary pass to get in the show and did it with a 3.84 at 307 MPH good for the 14th spot. Prior to the final qualifying session, the team was fighting computer glitches on each pass and Walsh had no data to work with, so the successful pass was partly a shot in the dark.
In round one, Millican who was celebrating a birthday, took on Antron Brown whom he had never beat in eliminations. Brown qualified third with a 3.73 at 326 MPH. At the green, Brown got out of the gate first with a sizable advantage but at about 300 feet out he smoked the tires while Millican was on a picture perfect pass. Millican was able to grab the lead and maintain it the rest of the way to get his first round win over Brown. Millican recorded his best run of the event, a 3.79 at 312 MPH to Brown’s 4.07 at 266 MPH.
In the quarterfinals, Millican faced former Tuttle Motorsports driver Steve Torrence who qualified sixth with a 3.77. At the hit, Torrence got a slight starting line advantage and was able to maintain a short twenty foot lead all the way to the finish line. Torrence recorded a 3.79 at 324 MPH to take the win over Millican’s valiant 3.82 at 316 MPH pass.
It was a confidence boosting weekend for the new team as they worked through some technical problems to finish strong and make it to the quarterfinals at one of NHRA’s biggest signature events.
To learn more about Parts Plus go to www.partsplus.com here
To read archived stories Click Here