HUGE FAN SUPPORT SEALS THE DEAL FOR MCMILLEN IN VRHRA CHAMPIONSHIP
Sat, 2020-04-25 09:08
Born the day after the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals was postponed, the Virtual Reality Drag Racing Association was the brainchild of CompetitionPlus.com founder and publisher Bobby Bennett and his staff. The goal was a four-race fan vote series. Soon after the beginning of this endeavor Bennett contracted Covid-19 and his staff pressed on running the events and eventually crowning Terry McMillen and the AMALIEⓇ Motor Oil team the inaugural VRHRA Top Fuel champion. The events netted a total in excess of 1.1 million fan votes and McMillen garnered the lion share throughout the series advancing to three final rounds, winning twice and picking up two No. 1 qualifiers.
“I watched Terry come out of the gate strong, making a clean sweep of this whole thing,” Bennett explained. “I thought to myself this thing will be over before it begins. He appeared headed towards another win when at the last minute Clay Millican and his fan base stepped up and won the second event by less than ten votes. Then Clay qualified No. 1 and it looked like he was going to take over, and then he got beat by Shawn Langdon at race No. 3. The great thing about Terry and his supporters is they kept pace, and at the last race they delivered. To hear the excitement in his voice and the level of support from his fans told me all I had to know not only about Terry and his fans, but the drag racing community – they are passionate about drag racing and even a worldwide pandemic cannot quench their passion.”
For McMillen and his Amalie Motor Oil Top Fuel team the fan engagement kept him and his crew motived throughout the months of March and April. An additional benefit for McMillen Racing was one of his season long associate sponsors Allstar Performance sponsored the CompetitionPlus.com series as well. McMillen and his team ended the season in the same fashion in which he started – with a victory.
With the win in the series finale McMillen locked up his second win and the series championship. He nudged out Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon in the final round for the race victory. It was his second round win over No. 1 qualifier Justin Ashley that clinched the inaugural Top Fuel crown.
“It’s just the real world and how we all have to fight and perseverance pays off,” said McMillen. “I think I certainly couldn’t have done it without my team. A couple times, I had my crew chief call in a couple changes that we needed to make to get the car set up to go down that track. Ultimately, it’s just amazing.
“Most of all, can’t thank all the fans and everybody, that’s not only myself but certainly voted for everybody because it’s just awesome that everybody follows our sport and our drivers.
“When you have that going on, it feels really good, and it just gets you all pumped up for getting back out there to the race track and hopefully that day shows up pretty soon because I had to start … I finally got our old front-engine dragster put together and had to start it just to smell some nitro,” added McMillen.
Overall the Virtual Reality Drag Racing Association was a welcome distraction for hundreds of thousands of Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series fans. CompetitionPlus.com continues to post new content as well as their wildly popular Legends: The Series. For McMillen and his Amalie Motor Oil team they continue to work in their shop preparing for the conclusion of the NHRA season currently scheduled to restart the first weekend of June with the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.