Marc Miller wins championship and now sets sights on SSC Racing Pro Shifter Series Title Madison, IL - Marc Miller wrapped up the MG Tires/Championship Enduro Series S-1 title Saturday with a fourth place finish in the series' third trip to ...
Marc Miller wins championship and now sets sights on SSC Racing Pro Shifter Series Title
Madison, IL - Marc Miller wrapped up the MG Tires/Championship Enduro Series S-1 title Saturday with a fourth place finish in the series' third trip to Gateway International Raceway on September 1. Miller, a Grand Rapids, MI native, followed up the points title with a runner-up result the following day in round #6 of the SSC Racing Pro Shifter Series, placing the Intense Karting-backed TonyKart driver in the lead for that championship by a 77-point margin.
"I was about as happy as I could have been with a fourth place result, but the fact that we locked up the championship helped improve my mood quite a bit," said Miller. "I had just gotten my TM engine back for servicing from PSL Racing earlier in the week. They made a few changes to help generate more power under higher revs, but now we need to work on getting a little more power lower in the RPM ranges. I think we are very close to finding a perfect combination and both Dominic and Stephen from PSL have been awesome."
Sunday morning found Miller qualified in the fourth position for the SSC Racing Pro Shifter Series race. An early morning gear change didn't help produce the speed the team had hoped for and Miller made the decision to go back to the original set-up from the morning warm-up session.
"We were really searching for higher RPM's when running without the draft, but even after a gear change we just couldn't find the speed we were looking for," explained Miller. "We went back to a set-up that we knew would work well in the race and made a last minute chassis adjustment to fix a mid-corner oversteer problem on Saturday, leaving us feeling fairly comfortable going in."
A poor start found Miller running in the eleventh position going into turn one. Miller methodically worked his way up to mid pack by the end of the first lap, and then proceeded to work with another driver to move into the lead by lap #8. Miller stayed out front until Erik Winberg ducked underneath him coming onto Gateway's long front straight and took over the lead.
"I was really surprised that I was able to get back up front after that bad start," explained Miller. "While out front I was trying to figure out how to stay out front because the effects of the draft make it difficult to win while leading. I looked behind me with 8 laps to go and saw Winberg, Todd Jurs and Clayon Prater. I knew I had to stay in front of Prater, so when Winberg went by I tucked in behind him and drafted with him to keep us in front."
With a few laps remaining, the top four were jockeying for position to get the best run for the final lap. Miller knew that pulling out of the draft could jeopardize his chances of staying in the top two and more importantly in front of the charging Prater so he stayed tucked behind Winberg and the two worked together to lock a 1-2 result.
"I got out of my kart and knew I had made the right decision. It is hard to not to go for the win, but the championship is more important to me and I had to take a step back and play the odds," Miller added. "Gateway has been good to us. We have come here and stood on the podium three times. No wins, but we have performed well and I can go into the next race with a more comfortable feeling. I can't say enough about my sponsors. Intense Karting Imports has provided me with a top level TonyKart chassis and PSL Racing Engines, Shifter Kart Illustrated Magazine, MG Tires, AIM Sportsystems, DeCal Works and MMP Design have all stepped up to really give this race program an advantage."
Miller will head to Indianapolis Raceway Park on August 22 & 23 for round #7 of the SSC Racing Pro Shifter Series and with two rounds remaining must continue his string of consistent finishes to maintain the points lead.