Millican Takes Third Consecutive Top Fuel
At IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals
By Summit FastNews
STANTON, Mich.- Clay Millican took a huge step towards his first IHRA Summit Top Fuel World Championship with his third consecutive victory at the CARQUEST Northern Nationals at Mid Michigan Motorplex. Other professional winner include Ed Hoover (Mopar Performance Pro Modified), Jimmy Rector (Funny Car), Brian Gahm (Sunoco Pro Stock).
Millican, 35, of Drummond, Tenn., defeated veteran Jim Head of Columbus, Ohio in a side-by-side run that evaporated when Head smoked the tires at the three-quarters mark. The Werner Enterprises-sponsored driver posted a 4.812, 305.08 to Head's losing 5.198, 273.27.
"I'm amazed at how this season is transpiring for us," explained Millican. "The consistency of the Werner Enterprises car has been incredible. Consistency wins races. This is the best testimony that I can provide for my crewchief and tuner Mike Kloeber and his abilities. This was a great win for our team."
The Northern Nationals marked the first race that Millican's wife Donna was not in attendance. The mildly superstitious Millican fretted before the race that her absence could affect the outcome.
"I'm mildly superstitious about my racing," said the smiling Millican in victory lane. "I don't have my name on the car and until the last race in New York I was superstitious about racing on Friday the 13th. Donna has been at every one of my races, so I was concerned about her not being in Michigan. I consider it another superstition overcome, although I wish she could have been here. My name is still not on the car."
Millican earned his third consecutive final round berth from the top qualifying position and stopping Louie Allison and Bruce Litton.
Head was no pushover as he began from the third seed and systematically defeated Jack Ostrander and defending World Champion Paul Romine to face Millican.
The Northern Nationals marked the return of legendary driver "Pontiac" Jack Ostrander to IHRA Top Fuel competition. The veteran driver qualified sixth and has competed in at least one IHRA national event since 1985.
Millican leads Paul Romine by 91 points in the quest for the $200,000 IHRA Top Fuel championship purse.
The 40-year old Hoover, Columbia, S.C., drove Paul Trussell's 1963 Corvette to the winner's circle on the strength of his own superstitious belief. A visit from an old friend, and the presentation of a good luck buckeye was enough clout for Pro Modified's first-ever national event winner to repel the valiant effort of defending World Champion Fred Hahn in the final round.
Hoover pointed out that the buckeye must be used sparingly.
"We were in the midst of one of the worst seasons that we had ever had," recalled Hoover. "A friend that I had not seen in 15 years walked up to me at a race and gave it to me. He went on to tell me that he had followed my career over the last season or two and knew I was a rough time. He offered the buckeye as a good luck charm and instructed me to use it only when I needed it. I decided before we headed up here that I would bring it out."
Hoover proved that one necessarily doesn't have to be the quickest to win. The diesel mechanic turned professional drag racer qualified fifth and mowed down competitors such as Dan Rowe, Alan Pittman, and points leader Mike Janis to reach the final.
For his part, Hahn ended a long dry spell of final round appearances dating back to last season's Amalie Oil Summer Nationals. The Summit Racing Equipment-sponsored driver defeated Steve Vick, Chip King and rival Quain Stott to earn his berth.
Janis leads Pittman by 80 points, with Hoover remaining in fourth behind Quain Stott.
Rector, 37, of Vernon, Ala., did not subscribe to any superstitions when it came to measuring his Funny Car victory. The former World Champion, and his crewchief/wife Karen, were quick to point out that it took one of their best efforts to repel a determined Laurie Cannister, who was appearing in her first-ever Funny Car final.
Rector combined a quicker reaction time and a 6.001, 234.61 to notch his first victory of the season. This marked his third final round appearance of the season.
"We have had a couple of bad breaks this season and this feels good," explained Rector. "We came in and set the pace and even though we fell off a little bit, we still held our own. I was determined that I was not going to lose."
Cannister, the 2000 Pro Outlaw champion in her rookie season with Funny Cars, was just pleased to be a part of the final round.
"We were real happy with the way this weekend went," explained Cannister. "Unfortunately, parts break and that's a part of racing. I can't thank all of m sponsors and my crew for busting their butts all weekend to make it possible."
Gahm, of Lucasville, Ohio, became only third national event winner this season in the Sunoco Pro Stock division. The former Pro Modified driver, making his first final round appearance in Pro Stock, looked like a veteran as he downed Tom Lee in Charlie Taylor's World Record holding Mustang.
"You can watch the cameras and stuff like that around the players and know that they sometimes look past the other drivers like myself," explained Gahm. "That's okay. I've got a job to do and I have as good of power as they do, so we can hold our own. I just have to get in lane like they did when they were coming up through the ranks. I love racing the best drivers in this class and if I'm going to get beat, I want to get beat by the best."
With his runner-up finish, Lee picked up 60 points on leader Gene Wilson, who was standing between the two cars urging Gahm onto victory. The 28-year old, machine shop owner from Canton, Ga., retains a commanding 130-point lead over Lee.
The Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley-Davidson division will be completed at the Mopar Parts World Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio at the end of August. Finalists Steve Stordeur and Ray Price elected to finish the event due to safety concerns.
The next race on the IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series is the Mopar Parts World Nationals at Norwalk Raceway Park in Norwalk, Ohio, August 23 -26.
STANTON MI - SUMMIT FastNews - MILLICAN TAKES THIRD STRAIGHT WIN AT IHRA CARQUEST NORTHERN NATIONALS
Stanton, Mich.-Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., won his third consecutive IHRA Top Fuel title, defeating Jim Head of Columbus, Ohio, at the CARQUEST Northern Nationals at the Mid-Michigan Motorplex, Stanton, Mich. The win extends Millican's points lead over Paul Romine, Indianapolis, to 91 points.
Brian Gahm, Lucasville, Ohio, won his first-ever Pro Stock title, defeating Tommy Lee of Kingsport, Tenn. Other professional winners include Ed Hoover, Columbia, S.C., in Pro Modified, and Jimmy Rector of Vernon, Ala., in Funny Car. The Nitro Harley-Davidson final, between Steve Stordeur, Goshen, Ohio, and Ray Price, Raleigh, N.C., was postponed for safety reasons.
The next race in the IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series is the Mopar Parts World Nationals at Norwalk Raceway Park, Aug. 23-26.
STANTON, Mich. -- Sunday's final results from the 20th annual CARQUEST Northern Nationals at Mid-Michigan Motorplex. The $1.6 million race is the sixth of 11 events in the IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel -- Clay Millican, 4.812 seconds, 305.09 mph def. Jim Head, 5.198 seconds, 273.27 mph.
Screamin' Eagle Nitro Harley -- Final between Ray Price and Steve Stordeur postponed to next event.
Mopar Pro Modified -- Ed Hoover, Chevy Corvette, 6.339, 222.40 def. Fred Hahn, Corvette, 13.954, 76.52.
Funny Car -- Jimmy Rector, Chevy Camaro, 6.001, 234.61 def. Laurie Cannister, Camaro, 6.122, 220.08.
Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock -- Brian Gahm, Ford Mustang, 6.709, 207.27 def. Tom Lee, Mustang, 6.701, 208.36.
NOS Top Sportsman -- Jerry Albert, Chevy Camaro, 7.354, 175.66 def. Tim Molnar, Camaro, 7.650, 174.37.
Annihilator Top Dragster -- Mike DiDomenico, S&W, 6.805, 187.57 def. Travis Colangelo, Sherrill, 7.141, 181.03.
Lunati Super Stock -- Monty Bogan Jr., Camaro, 9.958, 134.50 def. Bob Marshall, Coronet, foul.
Earl's Stock -- Myron Piatek, Dart, 12.363, 12.363 speed def. David Mercer, Mustang, 12.771, 104.57.
Dominator Quick Rod -- Steve Hoyt, Dragster, 8.913, 165.70 def. Jeremy Glidewell, Dragster, 8.953, 168.91.
Holley Team G Super Rod -- Tim McGuire, Monte Carlo, 9.894, 139.50 def. Rusty Cook, Corvette, 9.883, 151.49.
Weiand Hot Rod -- Edmond Richardson, Cavalier, 10.871, 137.12 def. Ricky Adkins, Nova, foul.
Lenco TD Shootout -- Randy Fraker, N&P, 6.107, 218.65 def. Julie Riechers, Spitzer, 6.486, 184.85.
Lizzard Racing Engines TS Shootout -- Kenny Rucker, Corvette, 6.681, 209.17 def. Harry Rockwell, Probe, broke.
STANTON, Mich. -- Final round-by-round results from the 20th annual CARQUEST Northern Nationals at Mid-Michigan Motorplex, the sixth of 11 events in the IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series:
ROUND ONE -- Bruce Litton, 4.899, 296.89 def. Steve Smith, 5.181, 243.85; Jim Head, 5.742, 162.98 def. Jack Ostrander, 6.530, 130.18; Paul Romine, 4.841, 301.40 def. Roger Dean, 7.127, 112.65; Clay Millican, 4.799, 306.05 def. Louie Allison, 5.473, 181.89;
SEMIFINALS -- Head, 4.855, 298.73 def. Romine, 4.918, 297.68; Millican, 4.846, 300.73 def. Litton, 5.235, 209.39;
FINAL -- Millican, 4.812, 305.09 def. Head, 5.198, 273.27.
NITRO FUEL HARLEY:
ROUND ONE -- Steve Stordeur, 6.550, 213.60 def. Stan Verheijen, 6.822, 192.82; Johnny Mancuso, 6.589, 202.30 def. Doug Vancil, 6.599, 202.91; Jay Turner, 6.611, 202.94 def. Tony Mattioli, 17.120, 40.17; Ray Price, 6.601, 202.45 def. Mike Romine, 7.960, 107.50;
SEMIFINALS -- Stordeur, 6.580, 198.93 def. Mancuso, 6.714, 188.91; Price, 6.662, 205.13 def. Turner, 6.818, 195.93;
FINAL -- Price versus Stordeur, postponed.
ROUND ONE -- Chip King, Dodge Avenger, 6.443, 218.43 def. Michael Lockwood, Chevy Corvette, 6.423, 217.56; Ronnie Hood, Corvette, 6.374, 222.25 def. Al Billes, Studebaker, 6.380, 219.94; Quain Stott, Corvette, 6.325, 221.78 def. Mike Castellana, Chevy Bel Air, 9.673, 86.42; Fred Hahn, Corvette, 6.288, 223.47 def. Steve Vick, Chevy Camaro, foul; Ed Hoover, Corvette, 6.320, 222.55 def. Dan Rowe, Chevy Coupe, 6.480, 217.91; Alan Pittman, Willys, 6.415, 220.12 def. Mitch Stott, Corvette, 7.382, 142.76; Carl Moyer, Bel Air, 6.376, 219.33 def. Shannon Jenkins, Camaro, 6.351, 221.60; Mike Janis, Corvette, 6.347, 225.11 def. Thomas Patterson, Corvette, 6.402, 208.75;
QUARTERFINALS -- Janis, 6.356, 225.56 def. Hood, 10.042, 86.51; Q. Stott, 6.340, 221.13 def. Moyer, 6.393, 219.58; Hoover, 6.360, 219.83 def. Pittman, 6.391, 220.94; Hahn, 6.348, 222.00 def. King, 6.503, 218.76;
SEMIFINALS -- Hoover, 6.322, 222.40 def. Janis, 6.409, 216.79; Hahn, 6.295, 222.58 def. Q. Stott, 6.328, 222.91;
FINAL -- Hoover, 6.339, 222.40 def. Hahn, 13.954, 76.52.
ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR:
ROUND ONE -- John Vouros, Pontiac Firebird, 6.000, 231.32 def. Joe Comella, Firebird, 6.216, 226.85; Monty Todd, Chevy Camaro, 6.163, 216.79 def. Richard Krafft, Dodge Avenger, 6.593, 184.50; Jimmy Rector, Camaro, 6.002, 233.72 def. Paul Noakes, Ford Mustang, foul; Mark Thomas, Avenger, 5.922, 236.17 def. Steve Ruda, Avenger, foul; Dale Brand, Firebird, 6.072, 228.38 def. Terry Munroe, Firebird, 6.284, 226.32; Laurie Cannister, Camaro, 5.998, 231.16 def. Ronnie Midyette, Pontiac Trans Am, 6.080, 221.60; Larry Dobbs, Chevy Corvette, 6.155, 225.82 def. Terry McMillen, Avenger, 6.149, 229.51; Wayne Butler, Firebird, 6.087, 228.58 def. Rob Atchison, Oldsmobile Achieva, 8.518, 104.40;
QUARTERFINALS -- Vouros, 6.013, 231.24 def. Brand, 6.000, 230.53; Cannister, 5.934, 237.63 def. Thomas, 5.936, 236.30; Rector, 6.024, 234.70 def. Butler, 6.110, 215.55; Dobbs, 12.098, 83.24 def. Todd, broke;
SEMIFINALS -- Rector, 6.003, 232.99 def. Vouros, 6.105, 225.07; Cannister, 5.942, 234.13 def. Dobbs, foul;
FINAL -- Rector, 6.001, 234.61 def. Cannister, 6.122, 220.08.
ROUND ONE -- Dwayne Rice, Pontiac Firebird, 6.859, 204.63 def. Tony Fox, Ford Mustang, broke; Ron Miller, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.742, 206.61 def. Elijah Morton, Ford Probe, 6.794, 205.22; John Montecalvo, Chevy Cavalier, 6.730, 206.07 def. John Konigshofer, Probe, 7.767, 162.88; Tim Nabors, Cavalier, 6.699, 206.61 def. Richard Penland, Grand Am, 6.973, 170.17; Brian Gahm, Mustang, 6.707, 207.56 def. Jason Collins, Probe, 6.747, 206.04; Tom Lee, Mustang, 6.685, 208.39 def. Angelo Alesci, Cavalier, 6.835, 204.91; Carl Baker, Mercury Cougar, 6.667, 207.24 def. Mark Hay, Grand Am, 6.827, 204.20; Chris Holbrook, Mustang, 6.843, 202.12 def. Gene Wilson, Cougar, 6.833, 194.80;
QUARTERFINALS -- Holbrook, 6.818, 204.42 def. Rice, 6.798, 204.08; Gahm, 6.724, 207.11 def. Nabors, 6.699, 206.70; Lee, 6.714, 207.34 def. Montecalvo, 6.766, 205.32; Miller, 6.760, 206.39 def. Baker, 6.731, 207.91;
SEMIFINALS -- Gahm, 6.721, 207.66 def. Holbrook, 7.077, 183.54; Lee, 6.700, 207.66 def. Miller, foul;
FINAL -- Gahm, 6.709, 207.27 def. Lee, 6.701, 208.36.
STANTON, Mich. -- Point standings (top 10) for IHRA professional categories following the 20th annual CARQUEST Northern Nationals at Mid-Michigan Motorplex, the sixth of 11 events in the IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series:
1. Clay Millican, 737; 2. Paul Romine, 646; 3. Bruce Litton, 622; 4. Jim Head, 513; 5. Jim Bailey, 455; 6. Louie Allison, 406; 7. Roger Dean, 354; 8. Steve Smith, 203; 9. Shirley Muldowney, 108; 10. Tracy Howard, 94.
1. Doug Vancil, 659; 2. Steve Stordeur, 570; 3. Tony Mattioli, 561; 4. Jay Turner, 525; 5. Johnny Mancuso, 522; 6. Mike Romine, 470; 7. Ray Price, 397; 8. Bob Malloy, 366; 9. Bill Furr, 309; 10. Stan Verheijen, 268.
1. Mike Janis, 742; 2. Alan Pittman, 662; 3. Quain Stott, 584; 4. Ed Hoover, 537; 5. Mitch Stott, 427; 6. Ronnie Hood, 426; 7. Shannon Jenkins, 407; 8. Carl Moyer, 354; 9. Fred Hahn, 347; 10. Paul Athey, 320.
1. Mark Thomas, 643; 2. Jimmy Rector, 636; 3. Dale Brand, 599; 4. John Vouros, 586; 5. Laurie Cannister, 559; 6. Monty Todd, 415; 7. Terry McMillen, 386; 8. Larry Dobbs, 362; 9. Terry Munroe, 297; 10. Rob Atchison, 220.
1. Gene Wilson, 809; 2. Tom Lee, 673; 3. Ron Miller, 585; 4. Angelo Alesci, 494; 5. Brian Gahm, 437; 6. John Montecalvo, 428; 7. Carl Baker, 411; 8. Dwayne Rice, 407; 9. Jason Collins, 351; 10. Elijah Morton, 322.
Results provided by the FastNews Network, courtesy of Summit Racing Equipment **