Joey Miller Lakeland race notes

Joey Miller Leads Laps, Shows What He is Capable of; 19-Year-Old Admits he Made Some Rookie Mistakes LAKEVILLE, MN (March 29, 2004) -- He may only be a rookie, but Joey Miller is mature enough to admit when he makes some mistakes. Joey...

Joey Miller Leads Laps, Shows What He is Capable of; 19-Year-Old Admits he Made Some Rookie Mistakes

LAKEVILLE, MN (March 29, 2004) -- He may only be a rookie, but Joey Miller is mature enough to admit when he makes some mistakes. Joey opened his Rookie of the Year campaign in ASA competition Saturday night in the SK Tools 200 at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL. He showed that his Great Clips #15 team has the stuff it takes to be winners by qualifying in the top-10 and leading 25 laps before getting knocked backwards by what he called "rookie mistakes."

"It was a good race to show what we have as a team and what we are capable of," said the 19-year-old Miller, who finished 20th. "This is a good team; we have good equipment and it is fast. I just need to be able to keep everything in line for an entire event. We do that and I think we can be a threat all of the time, and that's something I am going to work on."

Miller stayed in the top-10 for much of the race before eventually taking the lead on lap 102 when he passed Travis Kittleson coming off of turn two. Miller pulled away and opened up a two-second lead before giving it up to pit on lap 126.

"It felt good to be leading like that. It is nice because you don't have to worry about racing around anyone else and making mistakes around them or them making a mistake and it affecting you. You just get to ride out there and set your own pace."

Less than 15 laps later, as Miller was making his way back to the front, he was clipped by the car of Zach Niessner who had just bounced off of the wall and was coming back down into traffic. The accident, surprisingly only caused body damage, but it did rip much of the right side of the fiberglass off of the car.

"I was probably a little too impatient and dove down to the inside when that car was coming off of the wall and back down the track. It was a rookie mistake. I should have probably slowed up a little more, but I thought I would make it by him. I'm surprised as hard as it hit me that it didn't do any more damage than it did. It really just ripped the right side door and some more body work off of the car."

Miller's Great Clips team got the car fixed, but Joey then got together with a lapped car later in the event. That incident bent the right front spindle and indirectly caused the right-front tire to blow out twice. It forced the team to bring the number-15 on pit road more than expected.

"That was just a little more impatience by me. I'll learn when I can and can't do some of the things that I did out there. This is a learning experience for me. I'm learning things out there all the time.

"We'll come back and get them again. The team gave me a great car, and if we can do that every weekend, it should be a great year."

The ASA Series has a month off before its next event at Lanier National Speedway (GA) on May 1.

Country Joe Racing, with Kevin Cywinski and rookie Joey Miller, are competing full-time with the American Speed Association in 2004. For more information on the team, please visit .

-cjr-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Joey Miller , Travis Kittleson