DETROIT, Mich. (Saturday, June 17, 2000) - Despite turning race laps faster than he'd qualified, Johnny Miller, of Johnson City, Tenn., was out of the running early at the Johnson Controls 100 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series race today, part...
DETROIT, Mich. (Saturday, June 17, 2000) - Despite turning race laps faster than he'd qualified, Johnny Miller, of Johnson City, Tenn., was out of the running early at the Johnson Controls 100 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series race today, part of the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit. A broken driveshaft left him parked at the side of the road after completing only 10 of the scheduled 42 laps. He was scored 35th in a race won by Paul Gentilozzi.
"The driveshaft just let go in top gear at the end of the straight," said Miller, who now sits 18th in season points with 39. "It tore the whole interior of the car up, and beat me up pretty good." (Miller was treated and released from the infield medical center with bruises to the right leg and elbow.) "It was really too bad; on about the fourth lap of green, we went three-tenths of a second faster than we'd qualified, so we'd made the right changes with the car. It was fast! I'm just really sorry for all the folks from Cutler-Hammer who were here to watch. We didn't give them the kind of show we wanted to." Some 50 guests of associate sponsor Cutler-Hammer were on hand to cheer Miller on.
Miller had qualified third for the race, his 18th career Fast Five performance. At the race's start, Willy T. Ribbs jumped around Miller and second-starting Brian Simo to chase polesitter and eventual winner Gentilozzi. Miller was cruising around in fourth, biding his time when the driveshaft broke. He had already turned a lap at 1:34.931, (faster than his qualifying time of 1:35.266, 89.219 mph), the fastest race lap to that point, and one which would hold up as the third fastest of the day.
"There's really nothing we can do but pick ourselves up and move on to the next race," said Miller. "On the upside, we've shown once again that we're as fast as anyone out there. Once our luck turns around, I'm certain we'll be able to show our stuff. Cleveland is next, and it's a wide-open track, much like Sebring, where we were the fastest qualifier. We'll hope for better results there."
The Detroit race can be seen on the Speedvision Network, with the original broadcast slated for Monday, June 26 at 8:00pm EDT. Rebroadcasts can be seen on Speedvision at 12:00 am June 27, and on Fox Sports Net on Friday, July 6, starting at 1:00 pm EDT.
Next up is the Simple Green Trans-Am 100, part of the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland on July 1.