Portland, Oregon - Johnny Miller, driver of the No.64 AutomationDirect/Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR, is locked in a three-way battle in the Drivers' Championship title hunt, but looks to regain his lead as the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires...
Portland, Oregon - Johnny Miller, driver of the No.64 AutomationDirect/Cutler-Hammer Jaguar XKR, is locked in a three-way battle in the Drivers' Championship title hunt, but looks to regain his lead as the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup returns to Portland International Raceway following a five-year hiatus for the Tommy Bahama 125 on August 3-4. Miller took the points lead after the third race of the season at Mosport and maintained it until the fifth race at Cleveland. Most recently at Sears Point, a ninth place finish dropped him to third in the standings, just one point behind 2000 Trans-Am champion Brian Simo in second place.
Miller's teammate, two-time Trans-Am champion Paul Gentilozzi, maintains the lead with a 14-point advantage.
"He who has consistent podium finishes will win the championship this year," said Miller, who has four top-three finishes this season. "While you always go into a race intending to win, you also have to strive for consistency if you want to be there at the end in the title hunt." Miller, who scored his first Trans-Am win at the 2000 season finale at San Diego, has never competed before at Portland.
"I've been told that Portland is a very perspective-oriented type of track," said Miller, who has 24 top-five finishes to his credit. "It's not as technical as a place like Sears Point so you can work it pretty hard without a lot of risk."
Miller has already started his Portland learning curve. "I've talked extensively with Paul about the course and studied a detailed track map which can actually tell you quite a bit," continued Miller. "But there's still no substitute for actual track time.
"I'll work the track by sections starting with the corner leading to the longest straightaway," said Miller who was voted the series' "Most Improved Driver" in 1998. "I'll approach it just the way I would a new street circuit.
"While I'm working on learning the nuances of the track, I know I can rely on Paul for his input and knowledge to help with the car set-up," concluded Miller. "We're both running for the championship, but one of our team goals is to have both drivers on the podium at each race."