Well the first race of the season didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped. If you read the last blog, you saw that my car wasn’t ready to go testing in West Palm Beach with the rest of the teams. The plan was to go test in Vegas on our way out to Pomona. We made it to Vegas with every intention to get some good laps under our belt, but when we got to Vegas the weather was not good. It was very cold. In fact, there were flurries there one of the days. We made two quick hits, but the car didn’t like the cold temperatures, so we packed up and headed to Pomona.
Not being able to test put us behind at Pomona. We had a planned shut off for the first run, and struggled to figure out the right combination for the rest of the qualifying sessions. As you could see, it took your “A” game to qualify, and we were not ready to bring that to Pomona. I have a feeling this whole season will be a tough battle, and I am counting on Richard Hartman to get this car running competitively.
I wish I had more to update you all on, but there isn’t much excitement when you DNQ the first race of the year. Hopefully we will have better results in Phoenix. In fact, I have a feeling there are going to be some pretty incredible times, because the weather is going to be cool. Anyway, to stay up to date with me and the team between blogs follow me on twitter @terrymcmillen, like me on Facebook www.facebook.com/terrymcmillenracing, or subscribe to my YouTube channel www.youtube.com/terrymcmillenracing!
This has been the busiest off season that I have experienced by far. Our team is in that gray area where we need more help to get everything done, but we can’t afford to hire any more full timers, so I have been taking on the role of two or three people here at the shop, focusing mostly on the marketing side of things. I have also made a vow to keep up with my blogs. Last year, I didn’t do such a great job, but it is a new season and I am improving our program in many different areas, including the time I spend blogging!
Over the off season, I decided to make some changes to my program. As happy as Amalie Oil, University of Northwestern Ohio and the rest of my marketing partners are with what we are accomplishing for them, I want to be more competitive and I think the changes we are making will assist in that. For starters, we sent our car off to McKinney’s to get a new front half put on. While they were doing that they made modifications near the driver’s compartment/windshield area which should help with aerodynamics. The car wasn’t ready to go testing in West Palm Beach with the other teams, but we will be testing before we arrive in Pomona. I also decided to upgrade to the newer cylinder heads, and have updated our supercharger program. I have a couple new crew members, and my crew chief Richard Hartman is spending more time with the car than ever before. In fact, he picked it up from McKinney and took it straight to his shop, so I have yet to see it in person. The combination of changes we made, I believe will help us run more consistent and competitive, and I am looking forward to getting in the car this season, though I still don’t know how easy it will be with the new design….I may need a step stool!
The gator theme dragster will be back, with an updated version of the gator. I can’t wait to see the wrap on the car. Michelle and Gonzalo from Amalie Oil have been working so hard to get it done, and from what I have seen it is going to be pretty cool. Basically it will be the same look, but the teeth of the gator are more vicious and visible.
We also have a new Terry McMillen Racing logo. Mandy who works at UNOH helped us with that. She designed it and we liked it! I can’t thank her enough for working on this! We have seen it embroidered and it looks great!
I have a lot to get done before we hit the road this season, but I promise to keep you all more informed on what I have going on. For updates in between blogs “like” my Facebook page facebook.com/terrymcmillenracing or follow me on Twitter and I’ll follow you back @terrymcmillen.
I can’t begin to explain how nice it was to have a couple of weeks off in between Reading and Vegas. I love racing and being on the road, but the small break was just what I needed to relax, unwind, and get ready for the non-stop couple weeks I have coming up.
On the way to Vegas we are stopping in Clearfield, Utah, at Redds Quick Lube for a display with the car. They were one of the very first Amalie Oil Quick Lubes, so we are excited to show our thanks to them and their customers for being the pioneers in a venture that Amalie is going to continue to grow. We will be there on Tuesday the 23rd from 11 to 3, so if you happen to be in the area stop by and say hello!
From there we will head straight to Tahiti Village in Las Vegas, which we will call home while we are racing and attending the SEMA show. If you have never been to Tahiti Village, I would recommend visiting them at least once. They are time shares located at the south end of the strip near the airport on Las Vegas Blvd. It isn’t a casino, but they have a free shuttle that will take you to the strip or even downtown to Freemont Street, which sure beats paying for a cab! My personal favorite thing about Tahiti Village is the lazy river. Check out photos here: http://www.tahitivillage.com/Tahiti-Village-Lazy-River-Information.aspx. Even though this is a time share resort, you can still book a room like you would at any other hotel.
On Wednesday, we will be there with the car from 10 to 1. If you are in Vegas, come by and say hello. If you aren’t in Vegas, we will be conducting a Google hangout, which you can watch by going to my YouTube page. When we are broadcasting it will show in the “feed” and you can click on the video to watch! They will be giving away 4 tickets to the race this weekend, along with a 2 night stay to their place. You will have to get on the hangout for details.
The next stop we make will be at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is always an exciting race, because so many of our marketing partners will be there. I am looking forward to seeing everyone, and coming off a race in which we ran a career-best number, I am looking forward to seeing how the car does. We will also continue to run the pink car for breast cancer awareness. On November 1st we will begin to auction off the jerseys through my website terrymcmillen.com. If you have a moment, visit my YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/terrymcmillenracing, to watch the videos that Cori made advertising the auction. The one titled “From Our Runway” shows you how great of sports the guys on the team are.
Make sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter @terrymcmillen for updates in between blogs. Thanks for reading and I’ll write again soon!
If you followed the team last year, you probably remember the pink dragster that I drove during the month of October and the pink crew jerseys that my team wore to show our support of breast cancer awareness. We auctioned off our crew jerseys to raise money for SHE4Life, an organization that helps breast cancer patients and their families with financial obligations that come with a cancer diagnosis.
Last year we also paid tribute to several people that our friends, family, and marketing partners knew that had battled cancer by placing the name of the individual on the car. This year we are allowing the public to honor a loved one. By making a 50.00 donation to SHE4Life, we will either place your name or the name of someone that you would like to honor on our car for the month of October. Here is the link to make the donation: http://www.she4life.com/cart/viewCategory.cfm?cat=12
All donors will be entered into a drawing in which one will win a limited edition 2012 pink crew jersey. I want to fill my car with names, and I really want to help SHE4Life. Jodi Kramer founder of SHE4Life has done more for our team than I can explain, and helping her with her organization, which is still very new, is important to me and my crew.
This weekend is the big DRAW auction. If you haven’t heard of DRAW, they are a non-profit that provides financial support for injured racers and crew members. I have personally witness how they have helped a good friend of mine Ryan (the guy who was injured in the wheel standing accident in June). Last year I donated a pink helmet for the auction and it ultimately raised 35,000.00 which was awesome. This year we are donating a die cast pink dragster that my friend Jim Ledbetter made and the only pink crew jersey that we had left from last year. I am hoping that those items will be able to raise a good amount of money too.
So needless to say pink is our new green, but just for the month of October. Hopefully when we roll the car out in Reading it will be covered in names. Look for pictures or follow me in between blogs on facebook.com/terrymcmillenracing or on twitter @terrymcmillen!