Productive Oval Tests for Joel Miller at Milwaukee and Iowa Joel Miller expanded his depth as a driver this past week by completing two oval tests at the Milwaukee Mile and Iowa Speedway. He had little oval experience coming into the test which...
Productive Oval Tests for Joel Miller at Milwaukee and Iowa
Joel Miller expanded his depth as a driver this past week by completing two oval tests at the Milwaukee Mile and Iowa Speedway. He had little oval experience coming into the test which came from running 2 races in a USAC Focus Midget.
First up was Milwaukee which is a flat one mile circuit. Miller took the first few laps cautiously to get the line correct then by the end of his first run posted a time that put him within the top three at that point in the morning. Working with his engineer, Pete Mercier, they continued developing the car the rest of the day but ran into a few issues.
Miller was quoted after the test, "I looked forward to the new challenge of an oval going into the test. The other drivers had a full day on the track before I got to do a run so was quite happy that in my first session posted a time which put me near the front. However, the day was a bit frustrating because we hit a wall in the setup while some other teams found an edge. I am not worried though as we have the test in Iowa to figure some ideas out. It is time for us to do our homework, and speak with a few leads we have in the oval racing community."
Next up for the young driver was the 7/8ths mile 13 degree banking Iowa Speedway. After a productive weekend at the Indy 500, Miller traveled west for his second look at an oval. This track has significantly more banking than Milwaukee and is full throttle all the way around in the Star Mazda car. Again, Joel only ran the second day of the two day test and was up to speed by lap 4, being able to post a time in the top 5. However, an engine issue developed on the second outing in the morning which hampered the top speed of the car for the remainder of the day.
Afterwards Joel stated, "Never lifting around the whole circuit gets your heart going a little bit, but I came to grips with it quickly and got used to the feeling. I already knew the engine was down on power because I felt it going at the Utah race, but today it was very noticeable. However, we kept running to develop our oval setup. At the end of the day, I was very happy with the progress on the overall setup especially overlaying the steering traces from my teammates. Mine were much smoother so with an engine the package will be quite good. I have to givecredit to Hughie Absalom with the help he gave towards our setup."
The next event for Miller will be a double header event back on a road course in Millville, New Jersey on June 13-14.