Marc Miller & Carhartt Racing Team Debut With Hard-Fought Finish Miller and the Carhartt Team were "Hard at Work" on St. Eustache's tough Â¼-mile flat-track MONTREAL, QC (June 6, 2005) --- Marc Miller and his Carhartt Racing ...
Marc Miller & Carhartt Racing Team Debut With Hard-Fought Finish
Miller and the Carhartt Team were "Hard at Work" on St. Eustache's tough ¼-mile flat-track
MONTREAL, QC (June 6, 2005) --- Marc Miller and his Carhartt Racing #8 Dodge made a hard-fought debut in the 2005 CASCAR Super Series schedule at the Whelen 200 at Autodrome St. Eustache this past weekend. The sole American in the field was entering his first race behind the wheel of his new DJK Racing prepared Carhartt Dodge and gritted it out on the tight ¼-mile flat-track to finish a strong 16th position against the top stock car racers in Canada.
"As hard of a night this was, it sure feels good to get this race under out belts at probably one of the toughest tracks on the CASCAR calendar," said Miller. "We got only a few laps in practice but managed to get the car gridded 15th with a solid time. The car felt very good in practice so I was hoping to be able to keep the nose clean and be there for a top-10 at the end."
Things didn't go so smooth for the Carhartt team as a problem with the transponder limited the number of laps Miller could run in practice. The team rebounded with a car that could run consistent & competitive lap times for the race and was prepared to battle it out for 200 laps.
The green flag waved to the sound of thousands of cheering Quebec fans and Miller took his Carhartt Dodge up the order quickly, gaining a few spots right from the start. As quickly as the charge began, Miller had another competitor try to close the door on him and hit the right front. Miller made it through the bump but it was later determined that damage had been done to the sway bar, taking away the great set-up the team had put in the car for the race. The race continued and Miller battled for real estate but lacked the exit grip necessary to really contend for a top-10 finish.
"I got freight-trained on the restarts because the car had no forward bite," said Miller. "The car turned into the corner and rolled well through, but as soon as you wanted to get back on the throttle, she just wasn't up to it. We pitted to fix a damaged right front and the crew did a stellar job getting me back out o the lead lap with fresh right side tires. I was hoping to give the team, Carhartt and all of our sponsors more tonight, but that is just the way it goes sometimes."
Miller was sitting in a good position battling for the 11th spot before coming in during a caution for tires on lap 109. With fresh rubber, and only 90 laps left the team felt comfortable that a top-10 was still within reach but Miller was turned around coming off of turn four by another driver pointing the Carhartt Dodge in the wrong direction. Miller got the car back around but unfortunately lost a lap in the process.
"That is how tough short track racing is," said Jason Leuschen, Miller's crew chief on the #8 machine. "You work hard to find a good set-up, but all it takes is a bit of rubbing to make the car hard to handle on these tight tracks. Marc did a good job getting through all the carnage and brought the car back with only minor battle scars. We felt as though if we would have stayed on the lead lap, we could have really turned some heads in our oval debut."
The team will be back for the next CASCAR event at Mosport Park's 2.5-mile road course event, the Clarington 200, on June 19. Miller, a seasoned road-racer, hopes to improve on his strong 9th place finish last year and expects to be able to qualify and finish strong.
"I am definitely not afraid to push hard on the road courses," said Miller. "I am in great comfort running at high speeds and with the new car and extra year under the team's belt, we should be contending for podium results there."