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Staging Duel Becomes Fight On The NHRA Start Line – Clay Millican and Doug Herbert's Epic Burndown!


Twenty years ago, one of the strangest incidents in NHRA Top Fuel history took place at Maple Grove Raceway. Clay Millican and Doug Herbert engaged in the longest burndown ever seen in the nitro categories.
A burndown is when both drivers refuse to stage first for a drag race. It is rare to see a burndown go longer than a minute, and extremely rare to see one reach two minutes – let alone in nitro dragsters!
In this interview, @Clay Millican remembers the crazy moment, and then talks about the tragic incidents that would later bring his and Doug Herbert's paths together again.
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Date: September 18, 2022

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32 thoughts on “Staging Duel Becomes Fight On The NHRA Start Line – Clay Millican and Doug Herbert's Epic Burndown!

  1. Clay is one of the most down to earth great man. I had the experience of living down the street from him and seeing him at the store from time to time. He is just a great guy. RIP to Dalton millican… he was on his way to true stardom

  2. Man what a cool memory.. Your Nickname would be "Legend".. because that's what you are.. keep going man you are a inspiration to all the young people out there and are a class act. They will learn from you..

  3. Clay- you are such a class act. Didn't know you lost a son. I remember the burn down and what a touching story about when Doug lost two sons. As a fellow father, I can't imagine the pain from that loss. Onward and upward. Hope to say hi to you in Dallas next month.

  4. When I was younger and started watching IHRA, for some reason I just didn't like Clay. I have no idea why, maybe it was because he was always winning, but man he is such a stand up guy and a true role model for the sport of drag racing!

  5. I had the privilege to meet Doug one year as me and a co worker won tickets from Snap On tools to go to the Gateway Nationals, we had tickets to hang out in there pit and eat with Doug and his crew, the guy was very down to earth and just a blast to hang out with.

  6. Man talking about a 2 minute burn down, shoving match, the great Rick Stewart shutting them down, it was plenty cool, actually got it on VHS lol. Although back in the late 90's i did have the pleasure of meeting Clay Millican while testing down in Bradenton, a real down to earth gentleman.🔥🔥#B.R.A.K.E.S.

  7. I watched the entire video and it was actually a really nice story about these two drivers, touching. I have to be honest though, I clicked on this thinking I was going to see a 2 minute "BURN OUT" by a nitro drag car and realized that at 40 yrs old and calling myself a "car guy", I don't know shit about drag racing or what a "BURN DOWN" is 😂😂. I'll see myself out……

    I really thought to myself "oh shit a 2 min burnout by a nitro car that cant be possible, is there even enough tire to handle that??" I'm in tears with laughter

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