Miller drives off with the Goods, wins 2003 Jaguar Pole Award.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Johnny Miller didn't come to Puerto Rico to race, but the driver of the No. 64 Eaton Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR on the Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup didn't leave the Island of Enchantment empty handed. One of two keys that Miller earned for winning two Jaguar Pole Awards this season opened the door to a 2003 Jaguar XK8 convertible, earning Miller a one-year lease on the sleek red sports car.
The Jaguar Pole Award is a performance-based initiative that rewards drivers who win the pole at each of the Trans-Am Series' events this season. Polesitters will receive a key--regardless of what type of car they race--which, at the culmination of the season, they will use to attempt to open the door to a 2004 Jaguar XK8, during a formal ceremony. The driver whose key opens the vehicle will win a one-year lease on the car.
Miller beat out 2003 Drivers' Champion Scott Pruett for the honor in a ceremony held just after qualifying at the Puerto Rico Grand Prix. Pruett's first key didn't open the door, but Miller's key worked on his first try. Interestingly, Pruett, who had won eight poles this year (and started on the pole in Denver after qualifying was set by practice times), had a four-to-one advantage on Miller, as he had eight keys.
"It's hard not being able to race this weekend, but this helps," said Miller with a laugh. "I cannot believe it opened the car. I have to say this is a pleasant turn of events. I can't believe it, and that's just being honest.
"Boy, this is just really neat," added Miller, who clinched second in the championship, his best career effort, in Miami. "The odds were not in our favor."
However, there may be a bit of a fight over the keys in the Miller's Johnson City, Tenn. home. Yet, Miller said his wife, Julie, who has supported his racing career for many years will get the car. "Julie will drive it," added Miller. "I guess, we'll have to share."
The Puerto Rico Grand Prix, Round 11 and the season finale for the Motorock Trans-Am Tour for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Atlantic Time. It will air LIVE on SPEED Channel at 1 p.m. EST.