WHELEN SOUTHERN MODIFIED TOUR DRIVER L.W. MILLER PADS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH SATURDAY NIGHT VICTORY AT CARAWAY ASHEBORO, N.C. (Sept. 8, 2007) -- NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver L.W. Miller didn't win the 2007 ...
WHELEN SOUTHERN MODIFIED TOUR DRIVER L.W. MILLER PADS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD WITH SATURDAY NIGHT VICTORY AT CARAWAY
ASHEBORO, N.C. (Sept. 8, 2007) -- NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver L.W. Miller didn't win the 2007 championship on Saturday night at Caraway Speedway, but the Mooresville, N.C. resident took a big step forward to reaching his title hopes thanks to his victory in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour 150.
It was L.W. Miller's fifth win of the season and his fifth straight victory at Caraway dating back to last season. The victory allowed L.W. Miller to pad his Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship lead with only three races remaining.
It was a race with more drama than an afternoon soap opera as a late-race altercation with Junior Miller had the fans divided on whom was to blame for the incident.
"Another win at Caraway -- this is awesome and I'm ticked to death," L.W. Miller said after the win. "I knew we had a great race car and I just took my time working my way to the front. This is a night that championships are made of and Danny and Jimmy Baker gave me a great car. We're in it to win it."
Frank Fleming continued his strong run as of late with a second-place finish followed by the top-five of Junior Miller, Brian King and Tim Brown.
"We've been real consistent lately, especially with this car," Fleming said. "If we keep finishing second sooner or later we're going to get us a win. I thought third-place was the place to be there for a second when Junior and L.W. got together."
Burt Myers won the Bud Pole Award for setting quick time in qualifying as he circled 'The Showcase of the Carolinas' at a speed of 103.207 mph. The oldest of the Myers' racing brothers wasn't as fortunate as the draw-redraw set him back to a ninth-place starting position while it put arch-rival Junior Miller on the front row alongside Fleming.
Burt Myers didn't let that fact bother him too bad as he motored from ninth to third behind leader Junior Miller and King in less than 20 laps.
There were three cautions on Saturday night, the first coming on Lap 7 when Brian Loftin stalled in the second turn while the second yellow was displayed on Lap 65 when leading Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Wesley Swartout spun in the fourth turn right in front of Tim Brown and L.W. Miller who both had to take evasive action to avoid the spin.
At the halfway point -- or Lap 75 -- the top-five consisted, in order, of Junior Miller, King, L.W. Miller, Brian Pack and Fleming.
The two Millers -- Junior and L.W. (no relation) -- gave the fans their money's worth just past the Lap 100 mark as they waged a war with one another. L.W. Miller grabbed the lead to become only the second leader of the night when he nudged past the two-time and defending series champion on Lap 116. A lap later, Junior Miller returned the favor to regain the top-spot.
Then it got physical as contact between the Millers sent the No. 69 Advance Auto Parts Dodge spinning in the third and fourth turns for the third caution of the evening.
"Junior wrecked himself and he (darn) near wrecked us too," L.W. Miller explained. "I got by him one time and then he got back by me. I got under him going down the backstretch and he just turned left into me. I tired to back out of the gas but at that point I was already committed. That's just hard racing."
Junior Miller, while not thrilled with the late turn of events, took the high road in his comments towards the race winner.
"It was just racing and I'm not going to cry about it," Junior Miller said. "We'll just try to get them again next week."
The Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to action next Saturday night, Sept. 15, at Southern National Raceway Park in Kenly, N.C.