Welcome Nitro Fans

I wanted to take a little time to explain my blog. I will be keeping up with news and views of the NHRA, Teams, Sponsors and Fans as much as can. I will be posting links, pictures, video's and comments from my experiences and from the fans, teams and sponsors.
My goal is to help spread to word of the NHRA, NHRA Teams, their Sponsors, and the NHRA Community in hopes of supporting it's Growth. Over the years I have seen the NHRA's growth, and I think the potential is there to make this Drag Racing Sport the #1 in the Nation. I would appreciate everyones support.


The 3 Amigo's

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Jeff Olsen - A True Champion

It is that time of the year where Champion Spark Plug puts on their "Search For A Champion" Contest. Each year Champion awards racing entrants $125,000.00 in sponsorship money who showcase themselves through their own video creation. They are judged by Inspirational Quality (34%), Relevance to Theme/Best Depiction of a Champion (33%), and Number of Votes from the public (33%). This year, there are 392 entries, and there will be only 15 winners. Fourteen $5,000 winners and One $50,000 winner. Getting the votes out is the first step in the process.

By the time Jeff Olsen and I realized the contest was going on, we had just a few days to get a video put together.

Jeff decided he really wanted to race this year after attending a few NHRA races as guests of Terry McMillen Racing and the Amalie Store. He attended Norwalk, OH, and Indianapolis, IN. He also helped Tom Nowicki during the year in his 1956 Chevy Big Block Nostalgia Car.

Tom Nowicki has been struggling with health related problems with his eyes, and was forced into an early retirement. He had sold his car and trailer with the intentions of not being around the track that often anymore. Jeff Olsen talked with Tom and they both agreed that Jeff would now take over the driving duties in 2014. Tom would be there as the crew chief and adviser for Jeff. Jeff bought a 1952 Willy's Aero Lark, and is now a member of the Great Lake Gassers. They race and put on some great nostalgia shows throughout Indiana, Michigan and Illinois.

So with just a few days left to get a video made, we did not have any footage of Jeff's car going down the track yet. We did have footage of Tom's car, and pictures of the car. We set out and did a few interviews in the show and around the new car. We did not have much to go on, and only had one day to shoot the footage. My son John Amorosano helped tremendously with what footage and pictures we had. He did such an awesome job on putting it all together. When we first saw the finished result of the video, I believe tears came from our eyes. It was and still is AMAZING.

We are asking that you help in getting Jeff votes in the "Search For A Champion" contest. You can register and vote daily until February 2, 2014. We believe we have what it takes to be a Great Champion... Please click on the links below to register and vote.

Register Here: Search for a Champion Contest

Vote for Jeff Olsen Here

Follow Jeff Olsen on Social Media:



Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 In Review

I would have to say that 2013 was a very good year. It was a very busy year, and I do apologize for my lack of blogging. Hopefully I will be able to write more blogs in 2014.

We started out 2013 hitting the 1st 4 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Events in a row, and that was very exciting. While in Gainesville, Florida, during the NHRA Amalie Oil GatorNationals, Jeni and I took a little vacation and went down to Universal Orlando - Harry Potter Islands of Adventure.

We had a very good time in Florida as Jeni also helped Terry McMillen Racing and Amalie Oil with their first sponsored NHRA Drag Racing Event. Here she is as she checked for your credentials to enter.

After attending the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Las Vegas, Jeni and I packed up and moved to Elkhart, Indiana. It was very hard leaving family, heading into uncharted territory, but so far, it has been a great decision. I took on a job as the General Manager of the Amalie Store, and I am really enjoying all it has to offer. I have met some good people, enjoying our new home, and now enjoying a white Christmas. We do miss our family, but they are so spread out, that we could not be with them all anyways. So we are right in the middle, and it is just a short commute to see each and everyone of them. Jeni has taken on a good job with great benefits, and has also met some great friends along the way.

I have found that living in Elkhart is close to a lot of NHRA tracks. Either a days drive or less to these tracks. Joliet, Norwalk, St Louis, Thunder Valley, Englishtown, Brainerd, and ZMax Dragway. Also, most places now are just a non stop flight in either direction.


A big highlight was attending the NHRA Finals in Pomona in November and having my family there. Having my sister, Downtown Tim, my son and his family there was so heart warming.

One of the new additions in 2013 was the birth of Cameron McMillen. Terry and Cori have been so blessed.

I also had the opportunity to meet one of Terry McMillen's good sponsors, Mark Adelizzi, with Flatout Gaskets. He has a great sense of humor, and really a great guy.

So all in all, 2013 was a great year, filled with changes, hopes, and great friends. We have been so blessed with our careers, family and friends throughout the years.

2014 is looking up to be another fantastic year. Besides attending some of the NHRA events with Terry McMillen Racing, we have some great plans for the Amalie Store. Also, I'll be helping out one of my good friends Jeff in his new venture in the Nostalgia Gassers Group. They will be racing and show casing in a lot of events throughout the year. I'll be attending a lot of the local tracks during the 2014 season. Jeff will be taking over for Tom Nowicki in 2014. Stay tuned for more information in the near future.

Also in 2014, I'll be attending some Mud Bogging Tracks to support my friend John in his journey competing in NMRO Mud Racing. You can check out his video here: John Creech Video

Thank you all for the great memories who we have encountered during the 2013 season. May 2014 be a great year for all. Happy New Year.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Strange Happenings Around The NHRA...

I know it has been a while since I have written a blog about anything, but I thought it was time I put down some key strokes. As you all may know, I have moved to Elkhart, Indiana to take over operations at the Amalie Store. I have the best bosses one could ever ask for in Terry McMillen and Jim Walczak. So with my part in the Amalie Store, I still assist Terry McMillen Racing in securing hotel accommodations during the tour, and assisting in Social Media. Also, I work on The Fun Times Guide To RVing website and Facebook pages. As you see, I am very busy and just not enough time in the day at times to write on my blog.

I have been thinking alot about all that has been happening around the NHRA and let me say, it worries me a bit. Take Erica Enders-Stevens. She was in the top 10 in Pro Stock, and loses her sponsorship for lack of funding from Cagnazzi Racing!!! Say What? Don't they have this figured out? I believe she could have won it all the way she was driving. Now Erica is running a Pro Mod Car for Keith Haney Racing this weekend. I admire her persistence in keeping her driving skills sharpened. Here is the link to that story. Erica Returns to An ADRL Ride.

Next we have Larry Dixon. He has a job with Rapisarda Racing with Lee Beard taking over as Crew Chief, then Lee Beard leaves and goes to Steve Torrence operation, and then Larry leaves. Now Rapisarda hires Tommy Johnson Jr for the remainder of the year, and he runs a nice 3.78 in Sonoma. Awesome. This NHRA Merry-Go-Round is making me dizzy. I can't keep up with all these changes. And boy have things changed, and still big changes are on it's way. Here is this story: Rapisarda Signs Johnson

Bob Tasca has been getting some help from DSR, and have you noticed how well he has been running. I won't go any further or comment on what transpired there, but that leads up to FORD is leaving the NHRA and John Force after all these years. If I was John Force, I'd probably have them lock me in a padded room, and be on 24 hour watch LOL. I am sure that John will prosper, and keep his Dynasty alive and strong. Elon Werner is one of the greatest PR Guys out there, and with that, John Force Racing has nothing to worry about. I think maybe JFR might be into a little more of Top Fuel Dragster in the near future. Just not sure on what make of vehicle is in his future. Here is the link to the Ford Story: Ford NHRA Departure Also, here is the Story on: Jimmy Prock To Top Fuel

Now that you can see with all the disarray going on in the NHRA, we really don't know what to count on or what is going to be happening tomorrow. We just have to hope for the best and hope that the NHRA can turn this thing around. That statement makes me think of this song by Tracy Chapman: Give Me One Reason.

This just in. Ray Murphy, the clutch master for Terry McMillen has broken his leg in a few places and will not be in Seattle this weekend. This happened at Lake Berryessa in Northern California where Terry takes the team usually between Sonoma and Seattle for some R & R and exciting fun. I am not sure how the team is going to address this, but I know they will have their work cut out for them in Seattle. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ray Murphy for a speedy recovery.

One more thought as I finish this blog. Our Good Friends Cori Wickler and Terry McMillen are expecting a baby boy this coming September and I wanted to wish them the VERY BEST EVER. Terry and Cori are two of the best people I have ever had the pleasure to be associated with and I would like to thank them for believing in me and give me the opportunities that they have. Many Blessing to you you all.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Doug Herbert - B.R.A.K.E.S. "Take it to the Track"

Here it is March 2013 and already we have two NHRA events in the books. Pomona and Arizona. The 5th NHRA event on the tour, the one event I really enjoy and love attending, is the NHRA Dollar General 4Wide Nationals in Charlotte, NC. This years NHRA event, April 19-21, will be just as exciting as all the ones zMax Dragway has always offered. The roar of 32,000 horsepower, 4 Nitro Top Fuel Dragsters or Nitro Funny Cars, screaming down the track the same time in 3.79 seconds or less. If you have not attended a 4 Wide Event, I would add this one to your "Bucket List." The track, the feeling, the hospitality and the great NHRA drivers make this event one you don't want to miss.

Prior to the NHRA 4 Wide Event. Doug Herbert and B.R.A.K.E.S. sponsor a great Golf Charity to help benefit B.R.A.K.E.S. and Speedway Children's Charities. On April 18, 2013, NHRA Drivers, NASCAR Drivers, Crews, Media, and Fans are entered to help these great charities. If you have the time and want to have a lot of fun mingling with these great people on the course, and help these great charities, then please follow the links below to sign up. I hope to see you all there.

Learn more about B.R.A.K.E.S., Doug Herbert and the Take it to the Track Golf Tournament on the links below.

Sign up for "Take it to the Track" Golf Tournament.

Put On The B.R.A.K.E.S.

Doug Herbert Performance

Doug Herbert on Twitter

Put On The Brakes on Twitter

B.R.A.K.E.S. on Facebook

Doug Herbert on Facebook

Sunday, March 3, 2013

NHRA Glossary

I am sure while listening to the NHRA announcers or wandering around the pits at an NHRA event you have heard terms that have you scratching your head. Well here are the terms and their meanings to help you better understand.

Backpedal - When a driver lets off the throttle to regain traction or to avoid or stop tire shake.

Breakout - Used only in handicap racing. Refers to a vehicle running quicker then the racer has predicted, or "dialed."
The racer who breaks out loses unless his or her opponent breaks out by more or commits a more serious foul,
such as leaving too soon (See "Foul Start") or crossing the centerline.

Bump - The bottom spot in the field, usually the number 16 qualifying position. Also called the "Bubble"

Bumped - When a racer is moved from a higher qualifying position to a lower one after another competitor improves.

Burnout - Spinning the tires in water before a run to heat and clean them and put rubber on the track for better traction.

Christmas Tree - Also called the Tree, the electronic starting device between the lanes on the starting line.

Chute - Short for parachute, this device helps slow the car at the end of a run.

Deep Stage - To roll a few inches further into the stage beam, indicated by the pre-staged lights on the Christmas Tree turning off.
In that position, a racer is closer to the finish line and also closer to a foul start (red-light)

Dial-Under - Used in Super Stock and Stock, when a driver selects, or dials, an elapsed time quicker than the national index.
Drivers select a dial-under, or e.t., that they think their car will run based on previous performance.

Digger - Another word for Dragster.

DNQ - Did not qualify.

Dropped Cylinder or Hole Out - When a spark plug fails to ignite, decreasing total power output by the engine. A dropped
cylinder is often distinguishable by raw fuel spewing from an exhaust header.

Elapsed Time (E.T.) - The time it takes a vehicle to travel from the starting line to the finish line.

Eliminations - The portion of an event that determines a race winner, usually Sunday. Vehicles are raced two at a time ( Exception 4Wide
Nationals), resulting in one winner and one loser. Winners continue to race in a tournament-style competition
until only one remains.

Flopper - Another word for Funny Car.

Foul Start - Also known as a Red-Light. When a vehicle leaves the starting line before the green light, indicated by the red light on the tree.
When a foul start occurs in eliminations, the racer is eliminated from further competition at the event
(unless his or her opponent commits a worse infraction). A Red_Light in qualifying has no impact on the racers attempt:
his or her time still counts toward qualifying at the event.

Full Tree - Used in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Top Dragster, and Top Sportsman for which a handicap starting system equalizes competition.
The tree amber lights flash consecutively five-tenths of a second apart, followed five-tenths later by the green light.

Groove - Path of traction laid down by other vehicles that have gone down the racetrack, for example "In the Groove."

Handicap - The head start given to the slower car in a race featuring two vehicles of varying performance potentials.
Used in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Top Dragster, and Top Sportsman.

Hide - Tire; for example, " He was Smoking the Hides."

Holeshot Win - When a racer with an e.t. slower than that of his or her opponent wins an elimination round because he or she had a
better reaction time, or left the starting line first.

Index - An e.t. assigned by the NHRA as a predictor of performance for vehicles in that class. Indexes allow various classes
of cars in the same eliminator to race competitively.

Interval Timers - Elapsed time clocks at 60, 330, 660 and 1000 feet that record the e.t. from the starting line to those intervals.

Loose - When a car gets out of the groove, for example, "he got loose at about 60 feet."

Loud Pedal - Gas Pedal or Throttle.

Methanol - Pure Methyl alcohol produced by synthesis; used in some Top Alcohol Dragsters and Top Alcohol Funny Cars.

Nitromethane - Known as "Nitro," CH3NO2 is the result of a chemical reaction between nitric acid and propane. Primary fuel
for Top Fuel Dragster, Funny Cars, and injected nitro dragsters in Top Alcohol Dragster.

Oildown - When a race car deposits oil from the engine onto the racing surface, causing a delay.

On the Trailer - Where a race car is put after losing or not qualifying; for example, "He was on the trailer after round one."

Pre-Staged - When a racer is approximately 7 inches behind the starting line and the top half of the circle of small blue lights
atop his or her side of the Christmas Tree is illuminated.

Pro Tree - Used in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycles, Top Alcohol Dragster/Funny Car, Super Comp, Super Gas,
Super Street, and Pro Mod, all of which feature heads-up (no handicap) competition. The three large amber lights
flash simultaneously, followed four-tenths of a second later by the green light.

Rail - Another word for dragster.

Reaction Time - The time it takes for the vehicles front tires to clear the staging beam after the green light comes on; measured in
fractions of a second. A perfect reaction time is .000.

Red Light - See Foul-Start.

Safety Safari - A team of men and women responsible for transporting racing equipment from race to race, preparing and maintaining
the racing surface, and providing support in an emergency. The NHRA Safety Safari is presented by the AAA.

Sand Trap - Located beyond the shutdown area; used to help stop errant race cars.

Shoe - Driver

Shutdown Area - Area past the finish line where race vehicles come to a stop and racers are picked up by their own crew.

Sixty-Foot Time - The time it takes a vehicle to cover the first 60 feet of the racetrack. It is the most accurate measure
of the launch from the starting line and is the interval most critical to a quick e.t.

Slick - Racing tire that does not have tread.

Smoked the Tires - When a car losses traction; also "blew the tires off" or "hazed the tires."

Speed Trap - The final 66 feet to the finish line where speed is calculated.

Staged - When the front wheel or wheels of the vehicle are on the starting line. Once the racer is staged, the calibrated
countdown of the amber lights leading to the green light may begin anytime.

Stripe - Slang term for finish line.

The Wally - Official NHRA Trophy.

Time Slip - Given to the racer or crew after a run, it lists the reaction time, interval times, elapsed time, and speed.

T-Mac - Terry McMillen

Tire Shake - A severe vibration that usually occurs at the beginning of a run and is the result of losing traction.

Treed - A racers whose reaction time is significantly slower then an opponent's is said to have been Treed.

Wally Parks - NHRA founder 91913-2007), for whom the Wally is named.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Terry McMillen News and Updates

I thought I would start this blog for 2013 on News and Updates on Terry McMillen. Some people are not able to read National Dragster stories, so I will keep those posted on what is going on. Terry will be featured in "Straight Talk" in Issue 5 of ND.

We are headed to Vegas this weekend Feb 8, 2013 to test Terry's Top Fuel Dragster. Terry, Cori, and Jim are in the motor home heading to Vegas, and are in Dallas trying to avoid and snow coming their way. Terry Now has 2 Rigs heading to Vegas and Pomona. Yes, McMillen now has 2 Semi Trucks during the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Series. The extra rig will carry and extra car and more spare parts to assist in running better to compete in the NHRA Countdown. Terry said, "This will make a big difference this year with having 2 rigs on the road."

Since the car was not completed in time to test in West Palm Beach during the Pro Warm Up in January, Terry is stopping in Vegas to test the newly designed Top Fuel dragster with the new aerodynamic cockpit, the fuel system, and 7 stage heads and blower program.

We will see you all in Pomona during the NHRA Winternationals February 14-17, 2013.

If you need rooms will in Pomona. The Holiday Inn Ontario Airport has offered Terry McMillen and NHRA Fans a special rate. Use Promo Code "TMR" when making your reservations. Just click on the link below to take you to the Holiday Inn Ontario Airport for reservations.

Holiday Inn Ontario Airport

This is the story written by Phil Burgess: "McMillen Heads to Testing with New Weapons"

Just finished a lengthy phone call with Top Fuel ace Terry McMillen, who will be featured in our popular Straight Talk personality profile in Issue 5. T-Mac is on the road to Las Vegas, traveling in a motorhome with girlfriend Cori Wickler and PR man Jim Walczak, for preseason testing this weekend before heading to Pomona for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries.

McMillen and company were pulled over just outside of Dallas plotting a new route to Vegas to bypass snowbound Scottsdale, Ariz. His twin Amalie rigs were on Highway 20 from crew chief Richard Hartman’s South Carolina base. Twin rigs, you say? What’s that all about?

Yep, McMillen will now be toting two tractor-trailers on the road to help carry the equipment — including a spare car — that he hopes will get him into his first Countdown to the Championship playoffs this season after narrow misses the last two years. He’s also looking forward to making a good showing for his longtime backer Amalie Oil at its event, the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals, in March.

“It’s an extra expense to have two rigs, but with all of the back-to-back racing we’re going to be doing on the NHRA schedule this season, you just can’t carry enough parts in one truck,” he said. “We think this will make a big difference for us this year.”

McMillen wasn’t able to test with the rest of the fuel teams in South Florida last month because he was waiting on the new cockpit cowling he’ll be running this year. The new aero package changes the amount of air being rammed into the injector, which changes the fuel-system setup, so there was no use testing his new Stage 7 heads and blower program before he had it in place.

Don't miss out on any more updates and story's in National Dragster. Become an NHRA Member for Full Access click on the link

Become and NHRA Member

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins "The Legend"

I get suggestions now and then to write blogs on NHRA icons, and I thought writing one on William Tyler Jenkins, his birth name, would be interesting.
Bill Jenkins, let me refer to him as Grumpy throughout the blog, was born on Dec 22, 1930. He was born in Philadelphia, PA but was raised in Malvern, PA. He got the nickname "Grumpy" for having a no-nonsense attitude at the races. As a young child, Grumpy started working on his neighbors tractor engine, and from there his passion for working and building engines began. Grumpy did a bit of drag racing before going off to college at Cornell University. Grumpy started his drag racing career by racing a 1955 Chevrolet Convertible at local tracks.

Grumpy left Cornell University during the 3rd year, and used his training and skill to start building engines. He became nationally known for building 30 cars that set national records. In the 1960, he was known in many circles as the engine builder for Dave Strickler. In 1965, Grumpy won his first event at the Winternationals in a Hemi-Powered Plymouth Belvedere named "Black Arrow". Then in 1966 he decided to run a Chevy independently by making his own Chevy Engine package. That is when the Chevy II "Grumpy's Toy" was born. It has a 350 cubic inch/350 horsepower Chevy engine that was beating 426 Hemi-powered/425 horsepower engines. Then in 1967, Grumpy was added to the Chevrolet Team. Between 1965 to 1975, he won thirteen NHRA events.

Grumpy has been inducted in numerous Motorsports Hall of Fame for his engine building skills in the NHRA Pro Stock Division. His innovations include Pro Stock front end suspension, dry sump oiling systems, cool cans, drag racing's first kick out oil pans, electric water pump fans, gas port pistons, and slick-shift manual transmission. His continued search for improved performance left little time for idle chat with his racing colleagues. Among the Hall of Fame's where International Motorsports Hall of Fame 2008, Motorsports Hall of Fame of America 1996, and Don Garlits International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 1993.

Grumpy retired as a driver in 1976 and he hired Larry Lombardo and Ken Dondero to drive his cars. Grumpy wanted to spend more of his time concentrating on research and development. Lombardo took over Grumpy's seat at the second race of the 1976 season and went on to win the NHRA Winston Pro Stock Division. Dondero won the AHRA title that year. Grumpy's main focus was building and improving performance in engines. Dave Connolly also powered a Jenkins engine in his Pro Stock Cobalt in 2005. It briefly put Connolly in the Powerade points lead.

You could always see Grumpy on the starting line throughout the years smoking his cigars. Every once in a while you would catch a glimpse of a smile. He loved drag racing and his passion for a better performing engine was always on his mind. Besides building engines for drag racing, he also worked on some NASCAR engines. He built the engine Donnie Allison used to take the pole position in the 1975 Daytona 500. He also built the engine for Mike Swaim that took him to the pole of the 1987 Busch Series race at Daytona.

William Tyler Jenkins passed away in March of 2012 of heart failure, but his legacy lives on. He has brought so much to the Motorsports World with his innovations and passion. He is survived by his daughter Susan Jenkins, from his first marriage to Alexandra Newman, and his son William and daughter Dani-El from his second marriage to Polly Wood.

If you would like to know more about Grumpy and his Toy's, there is a great book that captures a lot of his history. The book is called, "Grumpy's Toys" "The Authorized History of Grumpy Jenkins' Cars" You can check out this copy at Barnes and Noble.

"Grumpy's Toys" They Authorized History of Grumpy Jenkins' Cars