L.W. MILLER SCORES SATUDAY NIGHT NASCAR WHELEN SOUTHERN MODIFIED TOUR VICTORY SATURDAY AT CARAWAY SPEEDWAY
ASHEBORO, N.C. (Sept. 23, 2006) -- It's not too unfamiliar when NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour fans look at the finishing results from a race and see the name Miller listed as the race winner. That was once again the case on Saturday night at Caraway Speedway when L.W. Miller scored a thrilling come-from-behind victory.
Miller, no relation to NASCAR Southern Whelen Modified Tour championship leader Junior Miller, scored his second victory of the 2006 season on a night where he found himself playing catch-up before he passed the race's dominant car of Frank Fleming with 27 laps remaining. It was L.W. Miller's second win of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season after winning his first race earlier in the year at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va.
"I knew we had a good car tonight even though we've kind of struggled the last few races," Miller said from Victory Lane. "We missed a race earlier in the year so we as a team sat down and thought it would be best if we could get our car figured out. After our last race we were all really disappointed with how things were going so we went back to the old school set-up we were running when we were doing well.
"I had a right-front tire go down about 40 laps in the race, but was lucky enough to be able to get that changed so I could make my way back through the field. We about went a lap down because of that. I knew I had to be aggressive, but not overly aggressive even though I did get in a little skirmish there about halfway through the race."
Fleming said that though he would have liked to have won the race, he'd take second-place and be happy with it.
"This is probably one of the best cars I've had in several years," Fleming said. "This team is unreal because we've been down and beat up, especially the last month. All the guys on this team worked a lot of late nights in getting this car ready and it wasn't even ready until this morning. The only problem I had was the car kept jumping out of high gear and I had to drive with one hand on the wheel and the other on the gear shift."
Rounding out the top-five were Tim Brown, Brian King and Brian Loftin in fifth. Brown used his third-place finish to move within only one point behind Junior Miller.
Brown earned his fourth Bud Pole Award with his lap at 99.784 mph, but started second after the draw-redraw with Burt Myers leading the field to the green flag. It didn't take Brown long to flex his muscle, as he beat Myers off the second turn to grab the lead on the first lap.
The first caution flag came out on lap 12 when NASCAR officials spotted a piece of debris on the backstretch.
The first lead change of the night came on lap 22 when Burt Myers swept past Brown for the lead and in the process brought Frank Fleming with him to the second position. Fleming wasted little time in the second slot as six laps later he grabbed the lead from Myers and brought Brian King to second.
The second yellow flag of the night occurred on Lap 39 when Joshua Nichols went for a solo spin in the first turn.
Perhaps the biggest story of the night came out under the third caution when current NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship leader and defending series champion Junior Miller hit pit road and his crew went to work under the rear of the No. 69 Advance Auto Parts Dodge. Miller's crew was able to make repairs, but lost valuable track position and came out running 16th.
As the race progressed the storyline shifted to a multi-car wreck in the first turn when L.W. Miller made contact with Wesley Swartout and collected eight cars, including Junior Miller who was just behind and made slight contact.
"It wasn't anybody's fault, I just got in there before one of those guys knew I was beside him," L.W. Miller said. "I was lucky because I was able to go on and not lose a lap, but I hate it for those guys that got caught up in it."
At the halfway point, it was still Fleming leading the top-five of King, Brown, Brian Loftin and Burt Myers.
In the closing laps, it was L.W. Miller stalking down Fleming before taking the lead and finishing ahead of Fleming by a one second margin of victory.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to action next Saturday night, Sept. 30 at the historic Hickory Motor Speedway in Hickory, N.C.