The biggest misconception I have found is that people think when I am not racing I have a ton of free time to do whatever I want. There are days that I certainly wish that were the case, but I think I would go crazy if I wasn’t constantly working. Most of the time I spend away from the track, I am working with my marketing partners or working on developing new relationships with potential partners. So instead of getting a break between races, it is actually kind of like a break when I am at the track, because racing truly is the easiest part of this business. With that being said we have made a lot of friends out of our marketing partners, and I have enjoyed spending time with many of them here recently.
Vegas is always a hot spot for our partners located out west. They can come to a race, but also enjoy the thrills of Vegas. Our West Coast Amalie rep, Tina, was there with Jason, who heads up our new Amalie Oil Quick Lube program. We met Jason a year ago here in Vegas at the race … who would have thought that a year later he would be working for Amalie, and have opened the very first Amalie Oil Quick Lube? Andrew from Genius Tools was also in Vegas. If you have never heard of Genius Tools, which I hadn’t before I met Andrew, let me tell you how great their product is. Soon we will have them available on our Amaliestore.com website. Until then, find them on Facebook and “like” their page because you could win free tools. Dave Clinton from Darton Sleeves, Joy and Chris from Ross Pistons, Danny from Cool Image Water, Bill from Clean Seal, and Chris Johnson from Armed Forces Racing were all in Vegas with us (I really hope I am not forgetting anyone). We also had a special visit from Lou the star of Operation Repo, who was at the race to visit the Fueled by the Fallen cars.
Upon returning home from Vegas, I got to head up to see Scott and our friends at Motorstate/All Star Performance. Their facility is amazing. They are in the process of making some All Star Performance tire covers for the dragster and I can’t wait to see how they turn out. With the talk of all this marketing partner stuff, I should mention something about having a 2nd car. People continue question when the other car I own will debut on the NHRA circuit. I am not directly involved in the funding process for this car. Armed Forces Racing, is currently working on securing a “founding sponsor” to support their racing program. I am looking forward to bringing awareness to Veterans issues while getting data from the 2nd car, and I know once they are able to get their program up and running many people will benefit. I feel honored that they want to use Terry McMillen Racing to get their message out there. Until they are ready to run the 2nd car, I am going to continue to concentrate on getting the Amalie Oil/UNOH Top Fuel dragster down the track consistently and competitively.
Now on to Charlotte where I get so see more of my marketing partners. Crossing my fingers my good friend Mark from Flatout Gaskets will be able to make it. I know Rick from Amalie and Bill from Clevite will be there, and who knows who else will stop by along the way. Don’t forget you can watch us on Google+ on Saturday from our pit. You can also see us on YouTube, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter (@terrymcmillen)
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!!
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
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!