Joel Miller finished Championship in top 5 Hesperia, CA (October 12, 2009) -- The final Star Mazda presented by Goodyear Championship race showed that Joel Miller has the speed and aggression to drive to the front. In a very foggy and cold ...
Joel Miller finished Championship in top 5
Hesperia, CA (October 12, 2009) -- The final Star Mazda presented by Goodyear Championship race showed that Joel Miller has the speed and aggression to drive to the front. In a very foggy and cold qualifying session Miller posted a time good enough for 4th. He mentioned that the car was descent but with a few changes it would be right for the race. The start saw a three wide battle into turn 1 where Miller stayed conservative and came out 4th. As the first lap materialized Joel felt he had a car worthy of driving around any problems and taking it to the front. An incident in the corkscrew corners resulted in Miller loosing a few positions falling back to 6th.
He regained composure to start picking off cars one by one. Joel overtook David Ostella in turn 3 then a few laps later passed Krohn under braking into turn 2. Next up was the third place driver which only took a few laps to catch. Joel was able to make the pass stick going into the corkscrew and secure 3rd with 20 minutes to go in the race. Miller then put his head down to catch the lead cars which were running nose to tail. Ahead of him the distance was nothing small, but Joel was catching the leaders by over a full second a lap. The leaders exchanged positions which gave Miller a run on current second place Ardoin. Going into turn 2 Miller was on the inside of Ardoin who turned in aggressively putting both drivers into a spin. Miller collected the car back on track but fell to 6th in the process. Never giving up he put his head down to charge back in the remaining 5 minutes. However, again in turn 2, the teammate of Ardoin did the exact same turn in, while Miller was passing on the inside. This time the incident resulted in a broken toe link on the right front of Joel's car. With the result Miller dropped to 5th in the season ending championship battle.
Afterwards Miller quotes, "I am disappointed with how today finished up because of the pace during the race. I had to drive around a few issues, but we were still fast as you could have seen from driving to catch the lead group after being so far back. This season has been difficult in and out of the car but with that I have again learned so much. Where I will be next season is still a question mark but moving up the ladder system is the goal."
"I personally have to thank the people that have stayed loyal to me this year such as Doug Mockett, the whole Andersen Racing crew as well as my engineer Yancy Diotlevi, Dan Andersen, and my family" adds Joel.