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First look at Dan Millen's New X-DRL Pro X-treme Car!

February 04, 2013 by Chad Houghton
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Dan Millen started his ADRL racing career in 2010, in the Extreme 10.5 class.  A class that Dan would go on to acheive  great heights in a very short time.  The only obvious next choice was to jump up into ADRL Pro Extreme for the 2012 season.  Rumors then surfaced that he was building a new car specifically for that class.  Some thought the car he was racing was his new car, but what they didn’t realize was Dan originally built the all black car to fit a bigger tire for better resale value, a decision that would prove to pay off well.  The new car rumors are now confirmed as Dan readies himself for the 2013 season, in the newly formed XDRL’s (X-Treme Drag Racing League) Pro X-treme Class.
The main goal of building a new car was to make it lighter.  Though it's not as light as planned, it does have much more titanium in it.  How much you ask?  As much as you can possibly have; including suspension components such as the four link bars and the front control arms, all Titanium.  The transmission tunnel is also Titanium, something that Dan had full input on.  With a degree from Lawrence Technological University, Dan is responsible for many of the weight saving ideas that he and Jerry Bickel implemented.  The whole front section of the car before the tires is Titanium which had never been done before, except on the three most recent Bickel built cars.  Though it took a full year to build, Dan is happy with the results.

The whole front section of the car before the tires is Titanium.

The engine is a Brad Anderson, PSI Supercharger, a Bruno/Lenco transmission with a Neal Chance converter and a Mark Williams modular rear end.

One example of a new piece the team is going to try, is the carbon fiber hat which Dan says should help pick up 5mph.
The car is state of the art with a bunch of small things that add up in a big way, one being that there are no mounting brackets on the car.  Everything is held into place with tabs, making every piece that needs to be mounted need an exact fit with tabs for that specific part.  Racing the last few years has helped Dan fine tune the cars design.  He now sits further back in this car and the shifter is in a better position just to name a few.  Dan credits the crew at Bickels for doing a real nice job making this a quality car.  The most challenging part of building this car was the length of time it took to fabricate and with a cost 40% over the original planned price Dan hopes this will pay off down the track.

The car is supporting a paint job and not a wrap.  The colors are a collaboration of Livernois Motorsports and Dan’s primary sponsor Z-Matrix Solutions.  Though the car is not stickered yet, expect to see a big Z-Matrix sticker on the doors and across the hood.

When switching classes last year Dan pretty much knew he was going to throw the whole 2012 season out the window getting used to the new tire size.  When racing a 10.5W Dan was used to pulling power out, and when he switched to the 13 ½ inch Mickey the car still handled like a W tire.  With the new bigger tires the reverse is needed and power is thrown at the car.  That meant things like the converter and rear gears had to be changed.  Once they started to reach the limit of the 13 1/2 inch tire, Mickey Thompson came out with a better 15 inch tire (which is on this car now) and the learning process starts all over again.  Dan's original plan was to have this car out towards the end of last season which unfortunately didn’t happen and threw a wrench into his 2013 season.  Dan does have one advantage though, this isn't the first time he has taken an old drive train and bolted it in a new car. Though there are a few updates such as the new fuel system and MSD Power Grid, the plan is to run the same combo as last year and play with the tune.  With Dan’s many championship wins throughout his career we don’t think it will be long before you will see the win light in his lane.

For more photos of Dan's car (click here).

Racing the last few years has helped Dan fine tune the cars design.  He now sits further back in this car and the shifter is in a better position just to name a few.

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