Chase Miller Leads Laps In Successful Return To ARCA Racing Youngster Takes Bobby Jones Dodge to the Front of the Field CANTON, GA (August 1, 2005) -- On paper, it would have looked like 18-year-old Chase Miller's return to ARCA RE/MAX Series...
Chase Miller Leads Laps In Successful Return To ARCA Racing
Youngster Takes Bobby Jones Dodge to the Front of the Field
CANTON, GA (August 1, 2005) -- On paper, it would have looked like 18-year-old Chase Miller's return to ARCA RE/MAX Series competition wasn't a very good one. He got only eight laps of practice, blew an engine, qualified 15th and finished 23rd. But there is a lot more that goes into the story of Miller's Friday night at Gateway International Raceway than meets the eye. And the rest of the story is why the youngster got out of his #88 Shrimp From Florida / Bobby Jones Racing Dodge with nothing but smiles on his face.
"It was an awesome race," said Miller afterwards. "It was great. All in all, it was a good night and a great learning experience and I'm pleased with everything that happened."
How could that be? As stated before, there is a lot more than meets the eye of the final results.
"We got just eight laps of practice," started Miller, telling the story of his eventful day. "I was just getting used to the track and the motor blew up. We were left searching for a spare motor after that. The 4-car (Mike Guerity) is on the same motor deal as us. They had a spare, but we had to wait until practice was over to put in their spare motor so they knew nothing would happen to their primary one.
"Finally, we made it to the tech line just in time for qualifying. Luckily, we drew 22nd in the qualifying line, which gave us a little extra time. So we got two laps of practice on the new motor during our time trial run and qualified a decent 15th."
Miller wasted little time in getting his #88 Dodge toward the front of the field. First, he broke into the top-10. Then, after continuing to motor to the front, Miller broke into the top-five and eventually picked off the fourth, third and second-place cars one at a time.
After a round of pit stops, Miller came out in first place. That allowed him to lead his first career laps in ARCA competition in only his second event. The team had the #1 Yellow Transportation NASCAR Busch Series team of Johnny Sauter pitting the #88 on Friday night.
Miller led a total of eight laps before getting passed and falling to second. Coming off another restart, Miller lost third gear and several spots. While trying to make those spots back up, he got together with the fourth-place car of Ken Weaver, spun and got into the outside wall, which ended his night early.
"The car was great. It was setup perfect," added Miller. "We were coming up through the field quick there. We led a few laps and that felt great.
"I fell from second to fifth after that gear problem. I was coming back up to pass the fourth-place car with just a few laps to go. I was under him and I think I had the line, but he chopped down on me and we got together and spun us both out.
"It was awesome to lead laps though. We had a heck of a car. It was just on rails there for a while. I learned a lot from (NASCAR Nextel Cup star Ken) Schrader in following him for a bunch of laps. He realized that we were quicker and he let me go after a while. It was just a whole big learning experience.
"I've got to thank the Yellow Transportation pit crew as well. They did an awesome job. Every time we went in, we came out spots ahead. I am real proud of all of Bobby's crew as well. We all worked nonstop from the time the day started to when it was all over and it showed."
Miller will continue to run a limited schedule in 2005 in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Plans are being put in place for the rest of the year, but Miller hopes to run at Michigan in August.