Joey Miller Is the 2005 ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the Year
20-YEAR-OLD HAS IMPRESSIVE ROOKIE YEAR, FINISHES SECOND IN OVERALL POINT STANDINGS
LAKEVILLE, MN (October 3, 2005) -- Saturday's 38th-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway might not have been the way Joey Miller was looking to wrap up his rookie year in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, but it was the end to what many people have called one of the most impressive rookie seasons ever in ARCA RE/MAX Series history.
All season long, Joey Miller and his #9 Country Joe Racing team proved to be one of the only teams that had anything for eventual champion Frank Kimmel week in and week out. When all was said and done, Miller finished second in the standings to Kimmel, just 425 points behind the seven-time champion. Only one other time has any competitor challenged Kimmel that close for the championship.
"I'm excited for the whole year in general. We really turned it around," said Miller. "It just goes to show what Country Joe racing and Joey Miller is capable of doing. This is the first year I've ever run for points other than my first year in late models. It was nice to have a year where a guy could really see where everyone was and work as a team for the whole year.
"Frank (Kimmel) was awesome to race with. I wouldn't have wanted to race with anyone else for a championship like that. He is about the nicest you can get to race with. This year, I know that if we wouldn't have blown up four motors, we would have won the championship. That is the only thing that stopped us from winning the championship."
Miller started out the year with eight straight top-10 finishes. Then, Miller went on a tear of winning races. But sprinkled in the midst of winning races were showings where the team fell short after some mechanical problems. Four finishes of 28th or worse hurt Miller's championship hopes.
However, Miller did capture four wins and six poles during his rookie season. Miller showed his versatility by winning at a variety of tracks. His first win of the season came on the short tracks, at Berlin Raceway in July. Just a couple of weeks later, Miller followed that up by winning at the 1.25-mile Gateway International Raceway (IL).
Just weeks after his Gateway win, Miller returned to the site of his first career ARCA victory and backed it up by defending his race win at the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway (TN). His final victory of the season came back on the short tracks when he won at the prestigious Salem Speedway (IN)
"I think this year showed us that we were strong everywhere we went. We had a good car everywhere from Daytona to Talladega to Berlin. We were definitely capable of winning and running up front every race we went to."
In all, Miller finished with 12 top-five finishes and 18 top-10 finishes in ARCA competition.
Miller rounded out the year by getting caught up in "the big one" at Talladega Superspeedway just two laps into the event. He finished 38th as a result.
"I'm just really disappointed in Talladega," said Miller. "After the wreck was done, someone just drove into us. I was in first gear, getting slowed down and he just drove right over me."
Miller's six poles were enough to earn him the season-long Pork Chopper award for 2005, which included a brand-new Harley Davidson special edition motorcycle as part of the award, sponsored by the National Pork Board.
"I'm really excited about being a part of winning a Harley Davidson like that. It is really cool to be the first one to win that prize. The Pork Board does something that is unique. I don't think anyone does something like that in Motorsports. How many times can you say you won a Harley Davidson?"
Country Joe Racing, with Kevin Cywinski and ARCA rookie Joey Miller, is Minnesota's #1 professional racing organization. For more information on the team, please visit www.countryjoeracing.com. For more information, please contact Mike Twist at (207) 590-1786.