Long Beach race report

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 16, 2000)- Johnny Miller, driving the No. 64 Automationdirect.com/UPS Chevrolet Corvette, scored his first career BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series victory at the Johnson Controls 100 presented by Simple Green,...

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 16, 2000)- Johnny Miller, driving the No. 64 Automationdirect.com/UPS Chevrolet Corvette, scored his first career BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series victory at the Johnson Controls 100 presented by Simple Green, part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, while Chris Neville finished second and Tomy Drissi came in third. Drissi, driving the No. 15 Drissi Advertising Ford Mustang Cobra, had initially been declared the race winner after surviving a final lap melee that took out Miller, Neville, Lou Gigliotti and Randy Ruhlman, with Willy T. Ribbs and Bob Ruman scored as the second and third-place finishers, respectively. After review of the final lap of the 34-lap, 66.912-mile timed race, it was determined that the 35th lap had occurred after the 60-minute race time had expired, and the official finishing order was decided by the running order at the end of lap 34, at 60:00:01.733. "Upon review of the race at Long Beach, it has been determined that the 60-minute time limit had expired prior to the start of the 35th lap. In accordance with Article 9.4.3 and 9.4.3.2 of the SCCA Pro Racing PRR (rule book), the correct finishing order reverts to the order during the full course caution at the end of lap 34," said John Martinsen, BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series Chief Steward. "The elapsed time when car No. 64 (John Miller) crossed the start/finish line at the end of lap 34 was 60 minutes 1.733 seconds." Specifically, the final green flag was thrown after 59 minutes, 59.040 seconds had elapsed, but by the time Miller's car crossed the start/finish line, 60 minutes, 1.733 seconds had elapsed, and the race was officially over (although not declared so at the time, resulting in the additional "lap" after time had expired). The BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series typically contests lap-count events, but various races each season are conducted as timed events due to external restrictions. Miller, of Johnson City, Tenn., started the race fourth but ran in third for much of the contest that was slowed by four full-course cautions for 10 laps. When pole-sitter Brian Simo, in the No. 88 Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta, was forced to pit with a flat tire on lap 18, Miller advanced to second behind Paul Gentilozzi, in the No. 1 Johnson Controls/HomeLink Jaguar XKR, who had claimed the lead from the opening lap. Gentilozzi dropped from the lead on lap 28 with a broken valve train, elevating Miller to the front position with Neville, in the No. 84 Soenen Motorsports Mustang Cobra, and Drissi following closely behind in second and third, respectively. On lap 30 the final caution of the race came out, giving Miller his first career victory in 58 starts, as he led the field through lap 34 to a lap 35 restart that was deleted from the final results. "Tomy drove a stellar race, and I empathize with him and the situation," said Miller. "But I feel we earned this win. We've worked really hard to be here and it shows in our race performance."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Brian Simo , Tomy Drissi , Paul Gentilozzi , Johnny Miller , Randy Ruhlman , Lou Gigliotti , Bob Ruman , Willy T. Ribbs , John Martin