This month, instead of talking about something that happened many years ago, I’m going to talk about a new book that talks about things that happened many years ago: The Big Blue M, The McMillin Racing Story by Marty Fiolka and Mark McMillin.
To say that this is a comprehensive piece of racing history would be an understatement; the book has to be seen to be fully appreciated. It sets the standard by which future team history books should be written to, whether in off-road, drag racing, or any other fields of auto racing.
“Mark (McMillin) and I worked on this project for 2 ½ years”, co-author Marty Fiolka said. “But what really made it possible is that Mark had 301 envelopes, one for each race, each with a program, pre-run notes, course maps, results, and even dash plaques from that event. That’s what made this book possible.”
This book was a massive undertaking by the authors, a 536-page history of the McMillin race team from their humble and meek beginnings in 1976 up to the 2014 racing season. Three generations of McMillin’s have raced, and the book goes into detail how they maintained their standards and their will to win over the decades.
Every race that Team McMillin has entered (over 300) in that time is chronicled with who entered in what car, co-drivers and results from that event. There are also hundreds of photos that illustrate the history of racing over the years.
Some highlights from the book:
-Beginnings of the team, and how they got involved in off-road racing in a 2-seat buggy bought at a police auction.
-The team taking 1st, 3rd and 4th overall in the 1981 SCORE Baja 1000.
-The philosophies of the family patriarch Corky McMillin and his son Mark that kept the winning ways of the team alive all of those racing years. “Never, ever, give up” was a team pledge.
-What the Toyota Team leader Cal Wells thought about the McMillin team racing against him and Ivan Stewart.
-The transition by Scott McMillin from tube framed buggies to Class 8 trucks and then trophy trucks.
-How, starting in 2004, the third generation of McMillin’s (Andy and Jessica), moved into the win column.
-The team's innovation in perfecting the use of Porsche 911 powerplants, long travel chassis, and later the Corky-designed automatic transmission that helped them dominate off-road racing.
-Forwards in the book are written by authors Marty Fiolka and Mark McMillin, SCORE's Sal Fish and BFG's Frank DeAngelo.
-There’s over 700 photographs by the top off-road photographers: Boyd Jaynes, Art Eugenio, Don Phillips, Jason Zindrowski and the photo staff members of Trackside Photo thoughout almost 40 years.
-The acknowledgement and naming of the more than 200 individual McMillin racing staff and volunteers over the years.
-It's obvious that it was a gigantic undertaking to produce this book and one has to wonder about all the record keeping that was done throughout the years and all the work done recently to reassemble those facts. The good news for the racing public is that an online version will be available.
-This is a book that any serious collector of Off-road racing material has to have! Orders for the book should go to: www.mcmillinracing.com