ASA Rookie Brandon Miller Joins API Motorsports For 2002 - California Native Joins Top-Flight Race Team with Teammate Gary St. Amant - BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (March 15, 2002) -- API Motorsports has announced the addition of 20-year old Brandon...
ASA Rookie Brandon Miller Joins API Motorsports For 2002
- California Native Joins Top-Flight Race Team with Teammate Gary St. Amant -
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (March 15, 2002) -- API Motorsports has announced the addition of 20-year old Brandon Miller to their American Speed Association (ASA) stock car team for the 2002 season. Miller, who joins two-time ASA champion Gary St. Amant on the Hol land, Mich. -based API team, will pilot the # 4 Oakley/Mercury Racing/Lennox Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the W J Pleamons Investments 200 presented by Jani-King at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida on Sunday, March 24. The race will be broadcas t live on TNN at 2pm (EST).
Miller is the latest young driver taken under wing by API Motorsports and 17-year ASA veteran St. Amant. Past drivers include current NASCAR Winston Cup rookie Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR Busch series racer Scott Wimmer and the late Kenny Irwin.
Gary Collins, Miller's crew chief, introduced Miller to API Motorsports owner Bud Gebben. Although familiar with Miller's previous racing success, Gebben immediately recognized in Miller what he describes as "star potential." "I've been around racing for a very long time as a driver and car owner, and the one thing I know is that you can't make a driver, they're born with talent and desire," said Gebben "I see those qualities in Brandon."
Gebben and St. Amant also saw large amounts of both ability and an eagerness to learn. In Miller's first test session at USA International Speedway in early March, Miller turned lap times within a few tenths of a second of St. Amant's, even though it was the first time Miller had seen or driven the challenging 0.75-mile track.
"I was impressed with his smoothness," said St. Amant. "He went around the track with me a few times so I could show him the line, and he picked up speed pretty quick. Brandon is a good listener and he's even-keeled, which is a good character trait to ha ve for a driver."
Miller also enjoyed the test, especially time spent with St. Amant and Gebben. "They are both true professionals and were free with advice, assistance and equipment," said Miller. "They made me and my crew feel right at home."
As Miller circled USA International, St. Amant and Gebben noticed that his style was very similar to another young southern California native who started at API. "Gary and I sat on the pit wall watching Brandon's driving style, his line around the track a nd we looked at each other and said the same thing -- Jimmie Johnson," said Gebben. "I think Miller has the ability and potential to reach the same level as Johnson. We're happy to have him aboard for 2002."
About Brandon Miller
A lifetime race fan born into a racing family, Brandon began competing in go-karts at the tender age of 11. Just six months later, he won his first race, and within six years, he won the U.S. Junior Shifter Kart Nationals twice. Brandon also raced karts in Europe against such formidable competitors as current Formula 1 pilots Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher. At 17 years old, Brandon made the move to auto racing, finding a home driving stock cars.
Driving Super Late Model stock cars in the 1999 through 2001 racing seasons in the southwest, Brandon finished in the top ten 30 times and won seven races, including one against 1999 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year Tony Stewart. In 2001, Miller also tried his hand at one ASA race, a few NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series races and one Winston West race.
"Those experiences just whet my appetite for more big-time racing opportunities," said Miller. "I'm thrilled to be part of API Motorsports in 2002 with a great car, great sponsors and as a teammate with one of my racing heroes, Gary St. Amant."