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Millican wins back-to-back Wally’s

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

It took nearly two decades for Parts Plus/Great Clips Top Fuel Dragster Clay Millican to win his first race. In one calendar year, he now has three career wins.

Millican picked up his second straight win at the 21st annual JEGS Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. He won in the last race weekend at Heartland Park Topeka, Kansas.

Clay Millican racing on Sunday (Photo by the NHRA)

Clay Millican racing on Sunday (Photo by the NHRA)

He went 3.894 at 289.32 mph to get the win to defeat Papa John’s Dragster pilot Leah Pritchett in the final round. She went 4.501 at 192.08 mph.

“It took me 19-years to get that first (win), then less than a year to that second one and less than two weeks to get the third,” he said. “I like this trend. This place is really special and my team gave me such a good car. It wasn’t necessarily my best weekend, but it was certainly pretty cool to have the team pull together and just keep turning those win lights on.”

While Millican has made it to the final round in back-to-back races, Pritchett has made it to the final round in two of the past three races. She won the race in Atlanta, snapping a 13-race winless streak for Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel Dragsters taking the Wally at the end of the event.

“Sometimes when you’re winning you get used to that,” Pritchett said. “The more we do well, the more appreciative and in the moment I get. It’s been a long time. When we won in Atlanta, that was a great sense of satisfaction with Lucy (the Make-A-Wish child who cheered on Pritchett at the event). Going rounds today – I can’t compare the two, but the enjoyment factor was really high up there.”

Pritchett held a 6-5 advantage over Millican all-time prior to this final round appearance. Millican is now 2-0 against Pritchett in final rounds.

Millican, the Tennessee native, got the early advantage and was able to hold on for the win. This is his first Wally in Chicago, where he debuted as a Top Fuel pilot in 1998 driving a Chicago White Sox dragster.

Pritchett hazed the tires around the 330-foot mark and turned off the dragster from there.

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