LAKELAND, Fla. (March 23, 2001) -- ASA veteran Butch Miller of Michigan took advantage of the late afternoon cloud cover and captured his second pole of the 2001 season and the 39th of his career, turning the fastest lap Saturday in preparation...
LAKELAND, Fla. (March 23, 2001) -- ASA veteran Butch Miller of Michigan took advantage of the late afternoon cloud cover and captured his second pole of the 2001 season and the 39th of his career, turning the fastest lap Saturday in preparation for Saturday night's Florida 200 at USA International Speedway.
Miller turned a lap of 21.090 sec. (128.023 mph), the fastest of any driver the entire day. His lap knocked first-year driver Toby Porter of South Carolina off the provisional pole. Porter, the second car out in qualifying, held the top positional through nearly the entire qualifying session. Defending race winner and 2000 ASA National Champion Gary St. Amant then topped Porter, as did the defending pole sitter, Mike Garvey. The current 2001 Rookie of the Year points leader Scott Fraser rounded out the top-five qualifiers.
"I was concerned when the 44 (Porter) car went out early and turned his good lap," said Miller. "It was a definite advantage going out late during the session. It was a lot easier, because there was no pressure on me this week. The track was totally diff erent for qualifying compared to practice. I am going to get with my buddy Mike Cope, who knows his way around this track, and we are going to wine them and dine them."
St. Amant also went out late, the last qualifier of the afternoon, and turned a lap of 21.226 sec. (127.202 mph) who was preceded by Garvey's lap of 21.250 sec. (127.059 mph). Porter turned a lap of 21.260 sec. (126.999 mph). Fraser rounded out the top-fiv e with a lap of 21.280 sec. (126.880 mph).
Pennsylvania's Ryan Hemphill won the 50-lap qualifier race leading from the beginning of the event. Florida drivers Travis Kittleson (Merritt Island), Ed Brown (Leesburg) and Ricky Carlton (Homosassa Springs) will all join Weeki Wachee Springs' Mike Cope i n Saturday's event.