Chase Miller Does Not Look Like a Rookie at Nashville 18-Year-Old Makes First ARCA Start, But Seemed More Like a Seasoned Veteran CANTON, GA (March 29, 2005) -- Chase Miller was a rookie this weekend at the Nashville Superspeedway. That fact...
Chase Miller Does Not Look Like a Rookie at Nashville
18-Year-Old Makes First ARCA Start, But Seemed More Like a Seasoned Veteran
CANTON, GA (March 29, 2005) -- Chase Miller was a rookie this weekend at the Nashville Superspeedway. That fact needs to be established upfront because he looked like anything but a newcomer when he made his first ARCA RE/MAX Series start, driving the #88 Bobby Jones-owned Dodge.
And while the numbers that Miller posted were respectable -- he qualified 14th, ran as high as third and finished 26th despite running out of fuel, the stories behind his weekend were even more impressive.
On Friday, the day got started with a challenge. The series-supplied ignition box that Miller's team was given had a bug and the car wouldn't start. The problem was eventually fixed, but not before practice was winding down. The rookie driver only ended up with nine laps of practice for his first race. Despite that, Miller was able to qualify 14th out of more than 60 entries.
Nine drivers found their way into the wall on Friday, either in practice or qualifying, so a crash, spin or incident by a new driver would have been excusable given the track conditions. But Miller never even got out of the groove. He credits this, and his good qualifying run, to the fact that he wasn't worried about lap times on Friday.
"I just wasn't racing the stopwatch," said Miller. "I wasn't trying to get something out of the car that it wouldn't give me. I just really wanted to make sure that I kept the car under me and made it into the race."
In the race itself, Miller showed that he was comfortable right away. He moved up from fourteenth to eighth in the early stages of the race before some of the leaders pitted and moved Miller ahead in the running order. But some bad luck caused more problems.
"We were running pretty well until we ran out of gas," said Miller. "We were in third place. We thought that we had three more laps before we needed a pit stop"
A possible late race charge was also thwarted by a flat tire. With only 113-laps scheduled in the race [although a late caution stretched the distance to 119 laps], Miller just plain ran out of time when it came to working back through the field.
"I believe that if we didn't have the problems, we would have had a top-five finish," said Miller. "I had a quick car; they were telling me that I was running down the leaders when I ran out of gas."
Miller enjoyed racing on the 1.3-mile track and found that it really wasn't too different from the short tracks that he is used to running.
"I liked it, it was just like a short track, but faster," said Miller. "I learned more in that race than just about any other race I've been in. I learned about the car and strategy and just how to drive the track."
This was the first of five planned ARCA starts for Miller in 2005. The young driver would like to race more often with his Bobby Jones' team, but sponsorship is the missing piece to that puzzle right now. However, Miller thinks that with the right backer, the potential of the team is great.
""We are looking for sponsorship for our program," said Miller. "We showed that we are already competing with these guys and if we had a sponsor to put a little more money into the program, I think that we could win races."
The next event planned for Miller and the #88 team is at the Kentucky Speedway on May 14th.