Joel Miller gets back to the top 5 with Andersen Racing Joel Miller returned to the front of the grid this past weekend by crossing the finish line in 4th and 5th place at the double race weekend of the 2009 Star Mazda presented by Goodyear ...
Joel Miller gets back to the top 5 with Andersen Racing
Joel Miller returned to the front of the grid this past weekend by crossing the finish line in 4th and 5th place at the double race weekend of the 2009 Star Mazda presented by Goodyear series in Joliet, IL. The weekend started out with practice on Thursday and Friday, with Miller getting comfortable with his new car on the road course, he ran 3rd and 4th in two of the practice sessions.
Qualifying started at 8am Saturday morning which had tricky conditions as a section of the track was getting dryer each lap from the rain the night before. Final positions came down to the last lap as the track dried, and Miller was able to acquire a second row starting position as the checkered fell.
He started 4th for the first race of the weekend, and looked for a great start. Unfortunately, his clutch started to engage due to an internal issue as the starting lights began to come on and the car started rolling leaving Miller with the only choice of pulling the car out of gear. When the lights went green he made quick work to get into 1st gear but the damage had already been done. At one point, he fell back to 6th but was able to retake 5th before the checkered.
After the race, Joel was given a start infraction and docked to 7th position overall. "The start was a huge bummer because I had the clutch in and the car just started rolling; the only thing I could do is put it back to neutral so I would stop rolling," stated Miller after the race.
Saturday afternoon was qualifying for the second race of the weekend which Miller again qualified 4th on the grid. The Andersen crew was able to find the clutch problem from the race before so Miller got off the line cleanly for race two.
At the beginning of the race he did not have the pace of the leaders so worked to cope with the situation and find a way to make the car work. After finding a balance in the car he began running down 3rd place. After losing a whole straight-away early to the 3rd place car Miller ran short at the checkered flag by closing the gap to within a second giving him a 4th place finish.
Afterwards Miller commented, "To sum up the weekend we just missed the pace overall. In today's race I did not give up and pushed to find something in the car. My Andersen team will for sure have things back in order for the next event; it's great to be working with such a good team."
The next round in the championship will be at Trois Rivieres, Canada in less than 3 weeks time.