O’FALLON, MO (October 31, 2011) – During his standout championship career, Dan Millen has been known for strong finishes.
In 2011, Millen may have topped himself with a remarkable finish in the American Drag Racing League’s (ADRL) Extreme 10.5 class.
After recovering from a potentially devastating fire, Millen was unbelievable to finish the season, winning four times in six races, taking the “Battle For The Belts” and winning his second straight Extreme 10.5 championship.
Millen clinched the championship during a dream weekend at the Texas Motorplex, adding yet another accomplishment to what has been one of the most impressive 12-month streaks in ADRL history. “I can’t say enough about my crew,” Millen said. “It’s just been an excellent year. We had some unfortunate stuff happen throughout the year, but it couldn’t have turned out any better. “The car fought us all year, but it was really running well at the end of the season.”
The car, the driver and the team were nearly perfect during the LenMar Motorsports ADRL World Finals VII presented by Summit Racing Equipment, as Millen ended up with the ultimate weekend trifecta in Ennis, Texas. Driving his Al-Anabi Racing Mustang that has proven to be synonymous with record-breaking performances, Millen racked up five runs in the 3.80s, going 3.82 on two different occasions to set the mark for the quickest run of 2011 in Extreme 10.5. The first came in the BFTB finals against Billy Glidden, as Millen tied his E.T. record with a 3.823 at 202.21 miles per hour to kick off the memorable weekend.
A day later, Millen clinched the points championship and then ended up with a $50,000 weekend by winning the World Finals VII with a 3.88 in the finals against Grant McCrary.
“I’m amazed by this. It’s been an excellent season for us,” Millen said. “We don’t have a huge team – it’s just me and three guys – and I really don’t think it’s all set in yet. “I was just glad the car was working so well.” It was a significant turnaround from the situation Millen found himself in after a discouraging turn of events at Palm Beach International Raceway in April. A race after losing via red light in the first round to start the 2011 ADRL season, Millen’s Mustang caught fire at the finish line.
It was the first time something like that had happened in Millen’s career, but he quickly rebounded with the help of several key parties.
Amazingly, Jerry Bickel Race Cars had the Mustang rebuilt and ready for the next ADRL race in three weeks, while Millen also received help from Lauri and Bob Zdravkovski from Z-Matrix Solutions. They officially came on board as sponsors later in the year and were also in attendance at Texas Motorplex to see Millen’s unbelievable finish to his championship season.
“Bob and Lauri with Z-Matrix helped so much at the best time they could have, and KH (Al-Thani) really started me off on a great deal,” Millen said. “Honestly, just to be in the position we’re in after that fire, I’m pretty amazed myself. I’ll definitely look on it, but I would have been fortunate no matter what happened.” Millen called this championship the most special of all of them because of everything he went through, and nobody could match his hot streak that began in June.
From there, everything came together for Millen and his team, as they won four races and performed brilliantly down the stretch.
The same thing happened in 2010 when a late-charging Millen claimed his first Extreme 10.5 championship.
It carried over to an Arabian Drag Racing League title last winter and Millen kept up his championship pace with one more extraordinary finish this year.
“My whole racing career, the last couple races of each season usually have everything riding on it,” Millen said. “When I’m not worried or a little stressed out, that’s when I do my worst. I think I do better when there’s more on the line.”
Millen also wanted to thank the following sponsors for his 2012 ADRL Extreme 10.5 World Championship: Z-Matrix Solutions, Al-Anabi Racing, Neal Chance Racing Converters, PSI Superchargers, Carl Robinson at Mickey Thompson, MSD Ignition, VP Fuel, Ford Racing, NGK, Ross Piston, Clevite, Jerry Bickel Race Cars, GRP Rods, Racepak, Pac Springs, Tek Headers and BAE.
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