McMillin Racing started 2016 with a strong showing at the Best In The Desert Parker 425 race in Parker, Arizona. McMillin Racing’s Dan and Luke McMillin have a simple goal this season. They are going all out for wins. That doesn’t mean their goal is easy, it’s just simple. No counting points or cruising around to get a finish, they are committed to one thing; running as hard as they can. They reached that goal in Parker on the pounding 425 mile course.
Parker was the first race in their schedule of select events in both the Best In The Desert series stateside, and the SCORE International series south of the border. Sponsors for the #23 and #83 McMillin Racing Trophy Trucks are, DLM Properties, BFGoodrich Tires, King Shocks, Maxima Racing Oils, Baja Designs, K&N Filters, Howe Performance and new for 2016, Method Race Wheels, Walker Industries and Impact By Mastercraft Safety.
The first order of business in Parker was qualifying on Thursday. Both Dan and Luke are out to beat the field but there is also a rivalry amongst the two Brothers that drives them to out-perform each other. Luke got the upper hand during qualifying. Despite starting his run deep in the order, which gave him a torn up track to contend with, Luke qualified solidly in the top ten in 7th position.
Dan was a little conservative in his brand new Racer Engineering Trophy Truck. He had just 70 miles of testing on the truck; he was still getting comfortable with the controls and the handling characteristics on the state of the art truck; he qualified 17th.
On race day, Dan and Luke’s fortunes were reversed. Luke had a mechanical issue in the early going which took him out of the race and Dan had a stellar run to finish 5th place overall and 5th in the Trick Truck class.
“We had a great qualifying run for starting so far in the back,” said Luke, “We were the only team that started in the second half of the qualifying group to run fast enough be in the top seven. I drove a really good race to mile 80 but then broke the rear end for the second race in a row. The good news is, we know what we need to do to fix the problem now and will be back at the mint 400 ready to win!”
Dan’s fifth place finish in the new truck was a huge accomplishment. Racer Engineering’s depth of experience came into play when they designed the truck and McMillin Racing’s attention to detail while completing the build provided the necessary speed and reliability, right out of the box. “We qualified 17th with no issues in our new racer engineering trophy truck,” said Dan, “During the race on Saturday, we ran hard on the first lap with no issues. Lap two was equally trouble free but the sun was going down; it was getting difficult to see.
We smashed the front end in a deep, sandy turn. It did no damage to our Baja Designs LED Light bars but they were knocked out of adjustment. We adjusted them the best we could at our second pit heading out on our final lap. We eventually lost one of our two Baja Designs LED light bars but the single bar still gave plenty of light to drive hard to the finish. The race course was getting tougher and tougher but I settled into a good rhythm on the last lap. We ran a good solid pace knowing this race is tough on engines and rear ends. We passed several broken down trucks on the final lap; our pace was working in our favor. We finished 5th overall with no problems and no flats tires thanks to our BFGoodrich Tires. It was a great start for our new Racer trophy truck; it worked amazing the first time out.”
As Luke alluded to, McMillin Racing will take to the dirt next at the legendary Mint 400 in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 9-13. They will take on a rocky and challenging 400 mile course with hopes for another solid performance.
Photography By: Bink Designs