Lightning Strikes Again for Millican with Second Win at Rain-Delayed Heartland Nationals

Posted by: Jeremy Patterson on 11/17/2021

It took an extra day to win the battle with mother nature, but not even the torrential rains that all but washed out Sunday’s festivities could keep Clay Millican from returning to the Winner’s Circle for the second time in less than a year.

Once again flying the Strutmasters colors that adorned his car when he won his first career NHRA race at Bristol last year, Millican and his crew, led by Aussie crew chief David “Grubby” Grubnic, had the car to beat all weekend. They laid down a solid 3.73 elapsed time in the third session that stood to give the team their fourth pole of the season, sending them into race day from atop the ladder.

As the cars lined up at 11am in staging and the drivers began to suit up for eliminations, the skies opened up and dumped a deluge on the expansive Kansas venue that would push the start of eliminations all the way back to near sunset. With a track that was nice and clean but somewhat lacking in traction and cool but humid air, the conditions were tricky to say the least. However, Grubnic apparently didn’t get the memo, as Millican’s car was nearly flawless across all four rounds of eliminations, despite them carrying over to Monday after dew fell Sunday night and ended the racing for the evening.

In the opening round, Clay laid down a picture perfect 3.789 at 331 MPH to dispatch #16 qualifier Terry Totten. Awaiting Clay in the second round was the always-stout Doug Kalitta, but what should have been one of the better races in eliminations failed to materialize when Doug smoked the tires at the hit. I likely wouldn’t have mattered, though, as Millican threw down a killer 3.724 at the third-highest MPH ever recorded in the class, 334.90 MPH.

The dewfall halted eliminations after the second round, but Clay & Company didn’t miss a beat, picking up in round three with a ridiculous 3.676 elapsed time to send Tony Schumacher packing after the Army dragster also went up in smoke before the 330’ timers. This set up a final round date with Terry McMillen, a racer that Clay seems to have to race almost every weekend. Millican had previously dispatched points leader Steve Torrence in the semifinal with a solid 3.75, so Clay had his car tuned up for the final round as well, but once again the opposition would blow the tires off.

While he didn’t need it, Clay laid down another gorgeous run in the final, stopping the clocks with a 3.727 a 332.59 MPH to earn his second career win and pull him within 10 points of Kalitta, who sits at #3 in the season points chase.

We send Clay, Grubby, and the whole Stringer Performance team our sincerest congratulations and best wishes to keep the momentum going!

#HeartlandNats: Clay Millican wins

Don't forget, the Semi's/Final show from today will be on FS1 at 12:30a ET / 9:30p PT. SPOILER ALERT: #StompOnThatLoudPedal! Clay Millican picks up his second career victory Monday at the Menards #HeartlandNats presented by Minties! #PowPow

Posted by NHRA on Monday, May 21, 2018