One for One - Joey Miller Wins at Nashville in ARCA Debut 19-Year-Old Comes From Two-Laps Down To Win over Kimmel, Krisiloff LAKEVILLE, MN (August 16, 2004) -- The modest, 19-year-old Joey Miller jokingly said he "just wanted to make it...
One for One - Joey Miller Wins at Nashville in ARCA Debut
19-Year-Old Comes From Two-Laps Down To Win over Kimmel, Krisiloff
LAKEVILLE, MN (August 16, 2004) -- The modest, 19-year-old Joey Miller jokingly said he "just wanted to make it exciting." Well, make it exciting he did, as Miller captured the Waste Management 200 Saturday afternoon at Nashville Superspeedway after coming back from two-laps down. It was Miller's first career ARCA win in just his first career ARCA start.
"That was pretty cool," said Miller, a Lakeville, MN, native who was racing team owner Matt Hagans (another part-time ARCA competitor himself). "In reality, the whole time we were out there, we were just looking for a solid top-three finish. So to be actually able to get a win was exceptional."
After qualifying third, it appeared that Miller's hopes for a win or top-three finish may be dashed early on when he came down pit road under green just 20 laps into the race with a cut tire. Miller headed back out to the track, but caught an unfortunate caution flag that locked him two-laps down to the leaders.
"When the tire went down right away I thought, what a bummer, but I just told the guys to keep their heads up and we would do what we could. I didn't really think we'd be able to get the laps back, so at that point, the goal was to keep the car in one piece and not run stupid because we were two-laps down.
"We decided to just come in as much as we could and get the car better and by doing so, we eventually made one of the laps up. Then we really started focusing on making the other lap up and after that, I knew I had a car that was capable of winning."
And winning is exactly what Miller did. After starting from the tail of the field, after getting back on the lead lap, Miller worked his way to the front of the field and around five-time ARCA Champion Frank Kimmel for second. Then, with just 10 laps to go, he passed Hendrick Motorsports Development driver Kyle Krisiloff for the lead.
"Honestly, I didn't see the white flag, but I saw the checkered flag. I still couldn't believe the race was over," joked Miller. "I heard the guys telling me good job but I drove it hard down into turns one and two before they told me it was over and I had won. I just didn't want to mess that up. I've had a lot of bad luck this year and I wasn't going to screw this up.
"I really didn't think of the win at first, I just thought 'Man, for once, everything worked out and it all paid off.' I expect to win every time I go out because I know I have the equipment to do it; I just have to do it as a driver. I've had a lot of bad luck this year, thankfully everything worked out right this time."
Miller was greeted in Victory Lane by his father, Joe Miller; team owner, Matt Hagans; crew chief, Patrick Donohue, and the famed-Gibson Guitar trophy, which goes to every winner at Nashville over the past several years.
"My dad is a quiet guy and didn't say too much other than 'good job' and that he was very happy," said Miller. "It was cool, though. Patrick (Donohue), Matt (Hagans) and all of the guys on this team are very good. We get along well. Everyone on the crew was detail oriented. They didn't let anything slip by. They were really considerate on what needed to be done and got it done and done right."
Miller will make a second start in the Hagans Racing #9 Dodge at Chicagoland Speedway on September 11. The youngster also plans on competing in the three superspeedway races on the ASA schedule to round out the season as well as the Snowball Derby in Pensacola, FL, and this weekend's NASCAR Midwest Series race on the road course in Brainerd, MN.
Country Joe Racing, with Kevin Cywinski and rookie Joey Miller, is Minnesota's #1 professional racing organization.