Daytona: Butch Miller race notes

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 15, 2002) - After a two-year absence, Butch Miller returned to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series piloting the No. 61 Delco Remy Chevrolet to a 17th-place finish in the season-opening event at Daytona International ...

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (February 15, 2002) - After a two-year absence, Butch Miller returned to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series piloting the No. 61 Delco Remy Chevrolet to a 17th-place finish in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway. The finish could have been better if not for a pair of late-race problems dropped the Coopersville, MI native in the final running order.

"First, we got a speeding ticket exiting pit road and we burned a sparkplug wire late in the race," said Miller. "I'm about as disappointed as I could be right now. I felt like we had something to run in the Top-10. When the race started, I was totally surprised at how good my truck was. We only had a couple of laps of drafting in practice and it turned out to be the best handling vehicle I have ever had at Daytona. I could run high on the fence or on the white line on the bottom."

The solid performance was a surprise to all after Miller started the 36-truck event from the 33rd spot. Miller's Whitmire Motorsports team struggled to get up to speed in the early practice sessions, but that all changed as the veteran driver methodically worked his way through the field to the 12th position by Lap 60.

Just eight circuits later, Miller came in for a routine gas only pit stop only to be black flagged after exiting pit road too quickly.

"Apparently, when we did our pit road speed on the tachometer, I just missed it," said Miller. "NASCAR said they clocked me speeding three block in a row. I hate it because they are right and I am wrong."

Now down a lap to the leaders, Miller appeared to still be in line for a Top-15 finish only to have heat under the hood deep six the solid run.

"Hi-Tech gave me an excellent engine," said Miller. "That thing would rocket down the straight away. We just burned a plug wire late in the race and that messed us up. If we could have stopped late in the race and put another spark plug wire on it, we would have raced right to the front again."

Miller earned $15,265 for the effort.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will return to action Friday, March 15 at Darlington (SC) Raceway. The Too Tough To Tame 200 will take the green flag at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The event will be telecast live on ESPN and will be broadcast worldwide on MRN Radio.

-wmt-

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Butch Miller