SBRS: National: VIRginia Int'l Raceway race summary

Joel Miller Dedicates Race Win, Season Crown to Grandfather Joel Miller Takes Skip Barber Victory, Championship at VIRginia International Raceway DANVILLE, VA. -- Joel Miller, 19-year-old racer from Hesperia, California, capped his 2007 ...

Joel Miller Dedicates Race Win, Season Crown to Grandfather

Joel Miller Takes Skip Barber Victory, Championship at VIRginia International Raceway

DANVILLE, VA. -- Joel Miller, 19-year-old racer from Hesperia, California, capped his 2007 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda Series season by winning both the second race of the weekend and the year championship.

Miller dedicated both the race win and the championship laurels to his grandfather, who is in a hospital in California, seriously ill. Joel's grandfather introduced the youth to kart racing ten years ago and has supported his racing since those early days.

In the 14-race championship series, Miller has earned a podium finish every weekend, finishing no worse than third in ten of those races, with five wins for the season. Miller started his racing career in karting, where he won several regional and national championships, becoming a works driver for Tony Kart. "This year, in the Skip Barber Series, was just an unbelievable year for me," said Miller following his race. "Every race was a double-header and every weekend I was able to be on the podium at least once, sometimes both races on the weekend. That's what enabled me to clinch the championship yesterday,' said the new champion.

Miller's total was 404 points, 36 markers ahead of second place in points Ricky Taylor, who won twice in 2007.

"Yesterday, the finish wasn't very good," he added, "but we battled through that today. I knew I had to take it one lap at a time and choose when I had to pass. I set myself up for that last lap pass because here at VIR with that long back straightaway and the Handford devices on our cars, you just have to be there in the end and be in the right position. Sometimes first is not always the best. This race here showed that. I was able to come away with the win in the end.

"My goal was every lap to try to move forward and not lose a position. When it got to the end and I finally made it to the top three, I knew that's where I needed to be for the last lap, and set it up perfectly. I was able to go from third to second going down the back straightaway. It doesn't matter how much you win by," he concluded, noting that the margin over second-place Fabio Orsolon was only a hair thin 0.029 second.

Winning the championship earns Miller a fully-sponsored drive in the Star Mazda series for 2008, courtesy Mazda and Skip Barber. continuing the rapid progress the honors student has made in racing.

-credit: vir

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