Straightline Strategy Group, the ownership group of the Top Fuel Dragster driven by Clay Millican, hired Mike Kloeber to tune the Parts Plus machine for the 2019 season. The two worked together in the IHRA, winning 50 events and six world championships in just seven years — that’s something the team hopes to bring to the top level of drag racing.
“Getting a call from Doug Stringer with the opportunity to race with this team provides a path to conclude some unfinished business for us all — winning a NHRA Mello Yello Championship,” said Kloeber. “With the addition of partners Scott Gardner and J.J. Koehler to the team, along with Doug, whom I also share a history with, my motivation couldn’t be any higher. Their expertise and additional resources position the program for exceptional growth and performance.”
Kloeber last worked in the NHRA in 2014 as the crew chief for Sidnei Frigo, who now races in the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. Frigo competed in a handful of Nitro races in 2014, but Kloeber’s experience in the category goes back more than 30 years. His wealth of experience both with Millican and with dragsters proved a key factor in his hiring.
“Sometimes life comes full circle, and we believe our company’s strong ties to faith and family along with an agenda built on trust, passion, and desire with the ability to weather storms brought this opportunity together,” said Stringer. “Mike and Clay have had tremendous success in the past, and Mike fully embraces our team’s platform and goals.”
The Tennessee native enters the Auto Club NHRA Finals in second place after his best season since joining the NHRA.
“I’m excited to go back and work with Mike again,” said Millican. “We have a lot of history together and are looking to make more.”
Millican captured his first win in 2017 and added another pair to his total this season with crew chief David Grubnic at the helm. Millican confirmed via text message that neither Grubnic nor assistant crew chief Mac Savage will return to the team in 2019. Grubnic and Savage chose to leave Straightline Racing, prompting the hiring of Kloeber.
The duo has amassed three wins and a 75-90 round record in 95 races after starting a team from scratch in the 2015 season.