Top Fuel racer Terry McMillen endured one of the most impressive engine explosions of all-time, and perhaps the biggest since Eddie Hill’s famous boomer in Dallas back in 1999, when his Amalie Oil dragster erupted in grand fashion last weekend at the NHRA Springnationals in Houston, causing not only an epic degree of parts damage, but also sent the never-say-die racer hard into the guardrail.
McMillen, who has had more than a lifetime’s share of engine explosions over the years that probably would have sent less dedicated racers into a finance-induced retirement, was racing alongside Tony Schumacher in the first round of eliminations and was trailing the champ when, right in the lights, the 11,000 horsepower Hemi grenaded itself — the parts and debris taking out the left rear slick and sending the car careening into the guardrail.
In the newly-released super slow-motion video from the NHRA, you can see just how violent the explosion was — the supercharger lifting itself clean off the top of the intake manifold and bouncing behind the race car as it crossed the 1,000-foot finish line blocks. We’re talking about an assembly (the injector, supercharger, and fuel components) that are heavy enough to require two people to lift and install it.
In the melee, but not shown in the slow-mo, other parts that exited stage right cut the big Goodyear slicks, leaving McMillen largely a passenger in the Gator-themed ‘digger. Fortunately, McMillen took the whole thing in stride, and has already readied the car for the NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta this weekend … where’s he’s probably hoping for anything but an encore of this madness.