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Veteran Top Fuel Racer Looks to Bring Best of Experiences to Bunker Hill Dragstrip

Thursday, 25 August 2022

HOUSE SPRINGS, Missouri — Veteran Top Fuel drag racer Terry McMillen has spent years up and down the roads of North America pursuing his dream.

Now, he’s embarking on a new adventure as the owner of Bunker Hill Drag Strip, the oldest strip in the great racing state of Indiana. For McMillen, his goal is to take the best of what he’s seen in his years of travel and apply it to the historic facility which opened in 1956.

“When you look at Bunker Hill, it was the first drag strip in the state of Indiana, so it’s a long history that we want to grow on,” McMillen said. “We want to take some of the lessons we learned traveling and take it to the next level. We want to increase the amenities, have fun and let the kids do their things where the parents have fun racing.”

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Anyone who knows McMillen can tell you that he is determined. As a teenager, he was delivering newspapers when he saw a 1932 Ford with a 392 Hemi engine nicknamed the “Sour Lemon.” He inquired about the car for months before the owner decided to sell it.

McMillen took an extra paper route, delivering both before and after school, so he would have the money to make the payments on it. He was almost 16 when he first went to the track with it, fueling a passion that still burns strong today.

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It was a natural progression that three decades ago, he decided to race for a living and nothing was going to hold him back.

“The racing has always been my focus,” he said. “We’re blessed that we’ve been able to race professionally. It’s been a great ride, meeting people all over the world.”

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While he’s a racer at the top level of drag racing, McMillen also appreciates the grassroots of the sport. He sees the IHRA Summit SuperSeries, the most prestigious bracket racing championship in drag racing, as a perfect fit for Bunker Hill Dragstrip.

“I was fortunate that I ran IHRA with my Funny Car and Fuel cars,” he said. “They were great people. Ultimately with Summit stepping up with what they do with the SuperSeries, they give a good platform for the Sportsman racer to compete in. It’s the best dance in town.”

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He praised previous track owner Mark Creiger for his work at Bunker Hill, which was named the IHRA Division 5 (Thunder) Track of the Year in 2018. McMillen looks to make even more improvements over the next few years.

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“If the crystal ball is working well, we want to repave it, put concrete and new blacktop in,” McMillen said. “We want to continue to make this a place that everyone wants to come see. Norwalk is a great quarter-mile track where you’re overwhelmed. 

“Ours is an eighth-mile track, but we want to do the same to make it a premier track where people want to bring their kids and grandkids to hang out. We want to bring the Nostalgia cars and the Street Outlaws type of stuff. We have a robust plan ahead of us to make everything amazing.”

Last modified on Friday, 26 August 2022

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