Someone finally did it, and Clay Millican is happy it was him.
Terry McMillen has been invincible in Virtual Reality Hot Rod Association competition, scoring two No. 1 qualifiers in as many races, and up until 10 minutes before the 7 PM voting finish on Tuesday, was poised to maintain his dominance. Ten minutes left into their fan-vote determined race, Millican and McMillen were in a dead tie with hundreds of votes cast.
Then Millican inched a little ahead, and at the stripe won by only seven votes, the equivalent of a race determined by two inches.
“You can call it being on a roll,” Millican said with a laugh. “I have to be honest; I am bouncing off the walls from the experience of it all. It’s really cool being a part of this. Let me tell you this; Terry is a bad dude.
“You keep checking on the results, and there becomes a point where you just have to let the fans do their thing. We have a real battle going on at the Virtual Reality Hot Rod Association.”
The win ties McMillen and Millican with one win and runner-up. However, McMillen has two No. 1 qualifying efforts to his credit.
Currently, McMillen leads the points standings, ahead of Millican by eight points in what is shaping up to be a two-horse race.
Over in Funny Car, Alexis DeJoria ran the table, qualifying No. 1 and beating OCIR winner Tim Wilkerson in the final round. On the road to the finals, DeJoria stopped Blake Alexander and Ron Capps.
“if we can pull off something like this off in real life it will be great,” DeJoria said. “It makes me feel great to know our great race fans are still plugged into drag racing in any capacity. I really miss being out on the track, and I’m just so honored to have our fans get behind us like this.”
The victory moved DeJoria into second place in the points, ahead of John Force and 60 points behind leader Tim Wilkerson.
Kyle Koretsky continued his domination of the Pro Stock class by winning his second consecutive event and did so from the No. 1 spot. It was the second consecutive event where Koretsky had beaten the second-generation Pro Stock driver, Aaron Stanfield.
“We wanted to win the Thunderdome, the whole concept of an indoor drag strip is just neat,” Koretsky said. “We are proud, Aaron Stanfield and myself to be the next generation of this thing. I think this whole deal gets everybody fired up. My dad [Kenny Koretsky] kept calling me all afternoon screaming, ‘You’re down. You’re down. We gotta do something.”
“I am just excited to be in the thick of this with Aaron. He’s a very talented drag racer and his whole family. I think we are giving this sport what it needs, some youth.”
Koretsky has a 96 point lead headed into next week’s race at Englishtown.
Pro Stock Motorcycle veteran Steve Johnson picked up an improbable victory by taking out No. 1 qualifier Angelle Sampey. It was a revenge victory from the opening event at OCIR when Sampey took out Johnson in the semi-finals.
“This is so cool,” Johnson said. “This is really exciting. I’m so glad to be a part of this.”
The win vaults Johnson into second place, just 18 points behind Sampey. OCIR winner Karen Stoffer dropped to third place.
Twice Rickie Smith has been out-qualified by Stevie “Fast” Jackson, twice the man they call Trickie has been No. 1 at the end of eliminations. For the second time, Smith beat Jackson in the finals of the fan-vote powered event.
“It’s pretty awesome when you can win races when you’re on vacation in the mountains,” Smith said. “It’s awesome to know your fans have your back. It looks like all of those years of working hard to be a hard-nosed racer has paid off with the fans. It’s always great to be able to battle it out with Stevie Fast.”
Smith leads Jackson by 98 points in what is quickly becoming a two-team championship battle.
The tour moves to Englishtown for the ARP Bolts Summernationals, the third of four races for the VRHRA Association.