Terry McMillen and Rob Wendland partnered up ahead of the 2015 season and, since then, have a pair of Top Fuel wins to show for it. That, in a very competitive Top Fuel field, is a great success. But the duo understandably wants more – and has shown the ability to get it based on the Amalie Motor Oil Top Fuel dragster’s 2019 season so far.
McMillen is averaging a 3.767-second elapsed time, a 62.5 percent success rate (percentage of time the car gets down the track) and a .069 reaction time. If that wasn’t good enough (and it is), the dragster is getting down the track 81.8 percent of the time during eliminations.
“We’ve got some new people on the car this year, so there’s still a little bit of a learning curve with Rob showing them the ropes,” said McMillen. “Once we get where we want to be, I think we’re going to be in a really good place.”
McMillen is ranked eighth in Power Ranking after the first day of the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals, ahead of both John Force Racing Top Fuel Dragsters, and feels comfortable testing out new clutch disc packages with the thought of putting away the good stuff for the playoffs. That’s something the team has never had the luxury of doing in the past.
“That’s kind of the sign of this plan coming together,” said McMillen. “Rob can try and test stuff when we come out for the hot weather stuff down the road and we can just try to peak by the time we get to Indy and the Countdown to the Championship. That’s really what we want to be able to.”
McMillen won the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in 2018 and then looked strong during the Countdown. That’s without the bevy of parts and pieces other teams have – and he may well be better set for the 2019 season. He entered Atlanta in eighth place because his on-track results (points) haven’t matched some of the potential his dragster has shown.
Give it time, though. There are 10 races, including the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals, for the Amalie Motor Oil team to reach its peak performance.