Joey Miller Finishes Second in Front of Home Crowd Hagans Racing / Country Joe Racing Driver Overcomes Adversity To Finish Strong LAKEVILLE, MN (June 7, 2005) -- If you are going to have to finish second, you might as well get beat by the...
Joey Miller Finishes Second in Front of Home Crowd
Hagans Racing / Country Joe Racing Driver Overcomes Adversity To Finish Strong
LAKEVILLE, MN (June 7, 2005) -- If you are going to have to finish second, you might as well get beat by the best out there. Joey Miller founded this out by finishing as the runner-up to the driver who pretty much defines ARCA racing, Frank Kimmel, this weekend at The Milwaukee Mile.
The only problem is that Miller is battling with Kimmel for the ARCA points lead, so any finish behind the six time champion makes it harder to catch him.
"If you lose to anybody, he's a good one to lose to, but we're going for a championship," said Miller. "When he's first in points, it's not good because we keep losing points to him. We want to win this thing and it doesn't help finishing behind him. We've got good cars and a lot of horsepower, so hopefully we can catch up to him on the big tracks that we will be running."
Still, a one-two finish helps the cream rise to the top and allows Kimmel and Miller to pull away to a little bit of a points lead.
"I'd like to pull away from some of the other guys so we can both have a little bit of a break."
Finishing second wasn't an easy thing for Miller to do in Saturday's race.
"It was almost a bad weekend and we turned it around to be a good weekend," said Miller "We led some laps and showed how strong of a car we had, but we had a tire come apart. We went in and went a lap down. We worked back from that and got back to second. If we had more laps than maybe we would have done a little bit better. But we would have probably needed another pit stop because we had a set of tires that wasn't just right for the car. It was a positive weekend in all."
Miller's crew chief Mike Chaffee earned the SK Tool Crew Chief of the Race award while Miller's team earned the Gladiator of the Race honors for overcoming so much adversity. Miller was also the ARCA Highest Finishing Rookie.
Coming back from one lap down reminded many of how Miller won his first ARCA race at Nashville Superspeedway last season. He lost two laps in that event and made them both up to come back and win. Still, Miller doesn't see that as an ideal strategy.
"I'd like to stop doing that. It's a lot easier when I don't."
The race at Milwaukee is the closest ARCA event to Miller's home in Minnesota. This allowed him to have his own cheering section for the race.
"We had a lot of family, friends and people that we know come out for this race. It was a hometown crowd for me."
Next up for Miller and the Hagans Racing team is Saturday's event at Pocono Raceway. Because the track is booked solid with a road course driving school and other events, the Hagans team did not get to test in advance at the 2.5-mile tri-oval.
"I think that we have a pretty good car for Pocono this weekend. It's going to be a learning experience because I've never been there and we haven't tested there. That is going to be a big difference because I've tested everywhere we have gone so far this year."
Actually, the #9 team won't be testing anywhere this week. After a full schedule of practicing in advance at the tracks that they are racing at, the Hagans team will spend all of this week getting ready for Pocono.
"This week, we're pretty much quiet. That's pretty nice because even though we are running every weekend, we are a little less hectic because we don't have any tests this week."
The ARCA RE/MAX Series will visit Pocono Raceway Saturday afternoon, June 11, for the ARCA 200. The race is LIVE on SPEED Channel at 3:00 pm eastern.