Johnny Miller Cleveland preview

Cleveland, Ohio - Trans-Am Series points leader Johnny Miller, driver of the No.64 AutomationDirect/Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR, looks to extend his lead in the title hunt as the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Burke Lakefront...

Cleveland, Ohio - Trans-Am Series points leader Johnny Miller, driver of the No.64 AutomationDirect/Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR, looks to extend his lead in the title hunt as the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Burke Lakefront Airport for the Trans-Am 100 presented by Simple Green during the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland weekend on June 29-30. Miller, who finished second in Cleveland last year, took the points lead following his third place finish at Mosport International Raceway on May 20. Scoring another third place finish in Detroit two weeks ago, Miller kept his lead, just two points ahead of teammate Paul Gentilozzi.

This marks the first time in Miller's Trans-Am career that he's led in the points. "Having the points lead is a serious motivator for me," said Miller, who scored his first Trans-Am win at the 2000 season finale and has three top-three finishes this season. "It won't make me any more conservative in my driving, but forces me to try harder without making any stupid mistakes."

Miller doesn't anticipate making any mistakes on the unusual airport circuit and hopes the other competitors won't either. "It's so flat and there are no reference points," said Miller, who delivered pizzas during his college summer breaks in nearby Sandusky. "You've got no sensation of the possibility of hitting anything. So because it doesn't feel scary, a lot of drivers think they're heroes...and as a result, I've been hit here a bunch.

"This circuit is a strange place in that it has a lot of crown to it," revealed Miller, who has 23 top-five finishes to his credit. "There are also track surface changes around the course which require specific attention as you set-up the chassis for optimum performance."

Prior to this season, Miller, voted "Most Improved Driver" in 1998, owned and managed his own team. For the 2001 season, he joined Rocketsports Racing as a teammate with two-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi.

"Paul has told me you've got to be smart and patient to reach this level and he's shown that in his own accomplishments the past few years," said Miller, the series' 1996 "Rookie of the Year." "He's right. Now the pressure is on me to maintain that consistency behind the wheel and not step out on a limb."

-RR

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Series SCCA , Trans-Am
Drivers Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller