Behind The Scenes Of A Drag Racer Going Drifting

Taylor Hull teaches Clay Millican how to drift, and we get to talk to both skilled drivers to get their thoughts on how it went.

NHRA Top Fuel Drag Racer Clay Millican is one of the most skilled drivers in a straight line. Formula Drifter Taylor Hull has made an art form out of drifting. So what happens when Taylor meets Clay at the drag strip? In this case, there’s no drag racing involved. Instead, it’s time to see what Clay can learn from Taylor’s coaching through Drift University

Both drivers are sponsored by Edelbrock and COMP Cams, and have been integral partnerships to the group. Media Event and Partnership Marketing Specialist Trent Goodwin was a major coordinator to get these two on the track together, he gets to work closely with both in their respective disciplines. We can’t think of a more fun duo to put together for this unique partnership and were on hand to capture the antics.

Taylor Hull and his wife Tamara operate Drift University, introducing people of all skill levels, from beginning to pro, to the sport of drifting. Clay Millican is a six-time IHRA Top Fuel Champion and current NHRA driver but he says that he considers himself a beginner when it comes to turning the wheel. In a dragster that is a bad thing. However, we agree with Taylor that he is definitely no novice when it comes to controlling a car — this is just a different kind of control.

“[Clay has] All of the applicable correction experience”, Taylor said. “If you can correct a car at 330 [mph], you can do it at 30 [mph].”

Initially an oval track, dirt track, and road course driver, Taylor wanted to do something different, and crossed over into drifting in 2013. After getting into the competition side, he rose up through the ranks in pro drifting. Figuring he didn’t have enough on his plate already, Taylor decided to start a business to introduce people to drifting. Under his instruction, hopeful drivers can call him up and rent the COMP Cams Mustang or BMW, or bring your own car.

Starting with the beginner program, the duo hits the track in the Mustang with no catalytic converters or mufflers, so it’s got quite the noise inside the car. Taylor hops behind the wheel to demonstrate a basic circle donut, explaining how to widen or expand that circle using the throttle. From there, it’s onto the figure 8 demonstration to get Clay used to turning the other way. After that, Taylor puts it together to demonstrate the transition from left to right on a basic course drift. 

Now it’s time for Clay Millican to slide behind the steering wheel. It’s obvious that, even though he says he’s a beginner, Clay is not intimidated by the Mustang’s horsepower in the least. He sits in a 12,000-horsepower machine weekly. Taylor walks him through his technique, giving comprehensive pointers for improvement along the way. After a few spins, Clay starts to get the hang of it. Once he’s comfortable with donuts going left, it’s time to switch to the right. You can see Clay begins to gain confidence before he breaks the car! Leave it to a drag racer to find the weak spot!

After breaking a ring gear in the Mustang, it’s time to give the BMW a go with the figure 8 practice. Some of his drag racing instincts start to kick in, but with the observation and tips from Taylor, Clay’s drift skills start to shine through. 

Handbraking is a little more advanced than donuts and 8s, and Clay’s coordination and reaction as a drag racer may have come in handy on this one since he picks up on it fairly quickly. Like with anything with cars, with a little warm up comes the confidence to really have fun, and that’s what happened when Clay couldn’t help but the take the BMW for a brief off-roading session.

See the video here and keep scrolling for a short behind-the-scenes interview.

Clay Millican 

Q: How was it?

A: I had a blast, I’ve never done anything like this. 

Q: What’s easier, drag racing or drifting?

A: Drag racing is number one, but spending time with someone who knows what they’re doing and learning from them is very enjoyable. Taylor was easy to learn from, but it was still a challenge when I was the one behind the wheel. 

Q: Are you going to continue your drifting lessons?

A: I am going to do it again, we’re going to connect again when our schedules agree. 

Q: Do you ever see yourself crossing over?

A: I would have to see Taylor a whole lot more to get there! I was able to put together a few turns, but I would need a lot more schooling!

Q: How to prepare for a day at the Drift University?

A: You’re going to have the funnest day you’ve ever had. It’s the ultimate thrill ride. Anyone who has an interest in cars should go do it, seriously. 

Taylor Hull

Q: When are you going to take drag racing lessons from Clay?

A: I’d love for the happen! That is definitely something I want to see come to pass.

Q: Is there a follow-up with you and Clay?

A: I hear he might be interested in building a car he can drift around in, so I hope there’s more coming on that.

Q: How do you think Clay felt about drifting?

A: He seemed to enjoy it, or he’s a really good actor, but we had a blast!

Q: What are you tips for anyone wanting to get into drifting?

A: Buy a car ready for drifting, don’t try to buy a car to build for drifting, most people never get to the track that way. 


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