Joey Miller Just Misses Second ARCA Win, Ready to Head Home LAKEVILLE, MN (May 30, 2005) -- Not many drivers would be happy campers if they dominated a race like Joey Miller did at Lanier National Speedway in Georgia, only to lose the lead...
Joey Miller Just Misses Second ARCA Win, Ready to Head Home
LAKEVILLE, MN (May 30, 2005) -- Not many drivers would be happy campers if they dominated a race like Joey Miller did at Lanier National Speedway in Georgia, only to lose the lead and the race on the final turns of the final lap. But the fact that Miller wasn't fighting mad after the race just goes to show how much the young 20-year-old driver has matured during his rookie season in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Miller qualified fourth and quickly moved his way to the front of the field at Lanier on Saturday night, the second-straight week of short track racing for the ARCA cars. By lap 12, Miller found himself at the front of the field, a position that he would not relinquish for the next 188 laps during the Williams Bros. Lumber 200.
Miller and the Hagans / Country Joe Racing #9 elected to be one of the teams that attempted to run the entire race on one set of tires. It might have been a strategy to work had the caution flag not flown several times during the race. Miller was never able to open up the lengthy advantage that his #9 could have enjoyed if the race stayed green. Instead, Miller was forced to fend off challenges of many during the short runs, which he successfully did until the final restart. That resulted in a one-lap shootout to the end.
David Ragan, one of the cars that did pit during the night, dove to the inside of Miller going into turn one on the apron, making some contact with Joey's car. The two raced side-by-side down the backstretch before Ragan finally completed the pass in turns three and four and took the checker with Miller a very close second.
Miller was expecting a two-lap shootout. It was just one lap.
"The end of the race kind of surprised me," said Miller. "Normally, it is a green-white-checker finish. That really messed me up more than anything. Had I really known, I would have used him up a little more on that last lap.
"Yeah, I was excited about the car. We knew we were going to have a good piece when we came here. I don't think we knew we were going to have such a good car, though. I'm just really excited about the results of tonight. Sure, we would have liked to have won, but we led a lot of laps and we showed how good of a team we have and that we can run on the short tracks as well. After tonight's run, I'm really excited to go to some of the other short tracks later in the year. I think we can be a challenger from now on for the win at each of those tracks.
"I'm just happy on how the whole night went, though. The car is in good shape. Sure, we are the first loser, but worse things could have happened. We showed tonight how good this team really is and I am very happy about that. It was a good point's night."
Now, Miller and the rest of the ARCA teams will head to the track that is closest to Miller's home base of Lakeville, MN, when they tackle the track that is half speedway, half short track-- The Milwaukee Mile.
"I'm really excited to go to Milwaukee now after such a good weekend here," added Miller. "It is a fast and fun racetrack, but it still needs to be driven, and driven well, to do good at that place. It is also as close as we get to home while racing with the ARCA cars, so that is big too. I think we will be a threat at Milwaukee. Hopefully, we can win that race."
The ARCA RE/MAX Series next visits the Milwaukee Mile Saturday afternoon, June 4, for the ARCA RE/MAX 150. The race is LIVE on SPEED Channel at 3:30 pm eastern.