Spring is hereThursday, March 29, 2012
Posted by: Terry McMillen, Amalie/UNOH Top Fueler

Warm temperatures and sunny skies in Gainesville hopped on board our motorhome and came back to Elkhart, Ind., with us. Unfortunately the great weather wasn’t the only thing I brought back from Gainesville. The Thursday following the race I started to feel like I was getting sick. By Saturday, I could hardly move. Knowing that the Las Vegas race was just around the corner, I decided to visit the doctor so that I could get some medicine. The doctor seemed pretty convinced it was a sinus infection, but decided to test me for the flu anyway. Did you know they can test for the flu? One line you are fine and two lines you have the flu, just like a pregnancy test. Sure enough the test was positive for the flu. According to the doctor it would take seven to 10 days to recover, and I found out seven days later that he wasn’t exaggerating.

Even though I had to spend the majority of the time I had at home on the couch recovering, I still managed to enjoy the great weather we had. Last year we skipped spring and went right into summer, but not until June, so I didn’t get to enjoy being outside and at home as much as I would have liked to. Sunny skies and warm temperatures in March was quite the treat especially after the flu. I mowed the yard twice, treated the pond, power washed the deck, planted a couple of new fruit trees, and enjoyed a little fishing in the pond.

One day before we left I got a surprise visit from two former Elkhart Career Center students who are both currently attending the University of Northwestern Ohio. One of them even received the Hoosier Thunder Motorsports scholarship. One of the many cool things about UNOH is that they don’t charge out of state tuition, so the scholarship money will have the same benefit to anyone who is awarded one.

We are hoping that the changes we are making to the car continue to pay off this weekend in Vegas. I know it doesn’t seem like we have done anything spectacular this season, and we haven’t, but every round we are one step closer to having a more consistent race car, and consistency is a huge contribution to succeeding out here.

Make sure you follow facebook.com/terrymcmillenfans for updates here in Vegas. We also tweet about what’s going on at the track so follow @terrymcmillen But the really cool thing you can do is join me in the pits by signing up with google+ and joining our hangout this weekend live from the pit. We will have hangouts on both Friday and Saturday, and I must say it is pretty cool. Just add Terry McMillen to your circle and you will be notified when we start the hangout!!

Until next time have a great one!!

Hanging out with great peopleThursday, February 23, 2012
Posted by: Terry McMillen, Amalie/UNOH Top Fueler

So much has happened over the past couple of weeks. I will start with the obvious…the first two races of the season. I can already tell this year is going to be better for the Amalie Oil/UNOH team than last year. Our new tune up, though not perfected, has kept our motors together. We have yet to hurt anything bad enough to result in an oildown penalty, which I would not have been able to brag about last year after the second race of the season.  We still have some kinks to work through, but I know we will get things figured out soon!

Aside from racing, Pomona was filled with some really exciting things. To kick things off we did a display at Performance Plus Tires with our friends at Cool Image Water to benefit two local sheriff’s departments. What great people that are the backbone to the success at Performance Plus Tire.

I also got to take a tour of the Genius Tools warehouse, which is in Pomona. The most impressive part of the tour was the extremely small section dedicated to returns (in other words they don’t get many). If you want to learn more about Genius Tools, visit their Facebook page. For every so many “likes” their page gets, they give away a tool set.

Our friends from Armed Forces Racing also came out to Pomona. With them we joined The Vet Hunters Project, which is a non-profit organization that helps homeless vets by giving them a place to live until they can find a job or finish their education and are able to survive on their own. We all went out Friday before qualifying to a homeless village to take homeless vets blankets, food and water. It is hard to accept and believe that men and woman that fought for our freedom are returning home only to end up without a home or job. We are working with Armed Forces Racing to find funding for a second car, so that they can bring awareness to the ugly reality that our veterans are faced with upon returning home from oversees.

In Phoenix we continued to hang out with many cool people, but it was a different type of hangout. It was a Google+ hangout. Basically we turn on our web cam at the track and anyone with a Google+ account can hang out with us by going to my Google+ account and clicking the “join hangout” button (after I have initiated a hangout). Only a limited amount of people can join the hangout at one time, but we are hoping we will be invited one day by Google to do a hangout on air, which opens it up to as many people as want to join. We will have another hangout going on Saturday in Gainesville so if you have a Google+ account and want to join, I’ll send out a public invite!

Next stop is Gainesville, which is always a good time for the gator car. Amalie will have a total of 150 employees at the race throughout the weekend, which I am looking forward to. I have not had a chance to meet many of the employees, and I can’t wait to thank them for their hard work. We will also meet up with our UNOH friends again for the first time this season, which is always a good time. Until next time follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/terrymcmillenfans

Things have just been crazy busyMonday, January 30, 2012
Posted by: Terry McMillen, Amalie/UNOH Top Fueler

It has been a while since I last wrote and I am sorry for not being better about keeping you up to speed during our off season. We were one short in the office for a few weeks in January, and things have just been crazy busy.

We went down to Florida to test, and were very pleased with the results. We have a brand new tune-up, so most of our passes were planned early shut offs. We wanted to get a feel for what the car needs to get from A to B fast and without blowing anything up. Unlike most of the big teams that tested all week and got around 20 passes in, we only made seven, but we are going in the right direction. We didn’t make any spectacular runs, but that’s OK. Last year we ran a 3.82 and didn’t see a number like that ever again. Our friend Eric from Cyclo got to come out and hang with us for a couple days. He hasn’t been to any of our races yet, so it was pretty cool to have him there.

Right from testing Cori, Jim and I flew to Washington D.C., to meet with our friends at Armed Forces Racing. We went to a tailgate party where wounded warriors were honored. It was really cool. We met some really great people including the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. What an honor that was. There is a new movie out Big Miracle, which is based on a true story. We also met the woman who the movie was about. Jim was especially excited about this because he is a big movie guy and was looking forward to seeing the movie with his wife!

Now we are just making last minute preparations for Pomona. We leave this weekend so that we will get to town Tuesday. Thanks to Cool Image Water for setting things up, we will have the car at Performance Plus Tire on Cherry Ave. in Long Beach for a fundraising event that will benefit South L.A. and Lakewood Sherriff’s Departments. There will be a raffle with one of the items being a set of Saturday Race tickets!

Here we go ready to start another crazy year. Looking forward to what 2012 has in store for us! Make sure you follow www.facebook.com/terrymcmillenfans for the latest on what we have going on!

Season’s greetings!Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Posted by: Terry McMillen, Amalie/UNOH Top Fueler

For most drag racing fans this time of year is what they call the “off season.” For those of us who are team owners this time of year is anything but an off season, which would be why my blog is a little behind schedule, and I apologize for that.

Things have been very busy here at the shop. At the beginning of December we shot a TV commercial here for Elkhart General Hospital. Having never shot anything of this nature, I was very impressed with how much equipment was needed to shoot the commercial. They literally turned the shop into a film studio, and I can’t wait to see how the commercial turns out. It won’t start airing until June, but I will for sure post it on my web site and social networks once it is done.

I also took a quick trip to Tampa to visit with my friends at Amalie Oil. There is no better time of year to visit Tampa than in December, when it is cold at home and 80 degrees there. From Tampa, I was able to take a weekend off and visit my son Brian in Portland. We did some sightseeing and Christmas shopping. Brian is a home builder, and started his own business within the past couple of years. Talk about a proud dad.  When he took me into his model home and past a couple of homes that he built and sold, I was speechless. Maybe one day I will get lucky and he will move back to Indiana and build me a home.

Hard to believe in a month we will be testing for the 2012 season. Before I can begin to think about testing, I am going to take some time to spend with my family over Christmas. We don’t get much time together, so I cherish the time I do have. This is my favorite time of year, and I am going to enjoy every moment. As always you know you can follow me on twitter @terrymcmillen and “like” my Facebook page www.facebook.com/terrymcmillenfans if you would like updates on what is going on between blogs.

For now I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas from everyone here at Hoosier Thunder Motorsports (including Daisy, Duke, and Tippy) and we will talk to you next time!!

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