Miller Captures 50th Career Win in SK Hand Tool 200 LAKELAND, Fla. (March 27, 2004) - Veteran Butch Miller captured his 50th career win at the SK Hand Tool 200 after fending off a furious challenge from Travis Kittleson who was searching for his...
Miller Captures 50th Career Win in SK Hand Tool 200
LAKELAND, Fla. (March 27, 2004) - Veteran Butch Miller captured his 50th career win at the SK Hand Tool 200 after fending off a furious challenge from Travis Kittleson who was searching for his first series victory. By taking the checkered flag, Miller becomes the first ASA driver with more than one win on the 0.75-mile USA International Speedway.
Miller becomes the first person in ASA history to obtain both 50 race wins as well as 50 poles. "I couldn't ask for a better car," Miller said from the winner's circle. "The car was prepped perfect. We just want to continue on and our goal is to win the championship. We want to win that really bad."
Miller started his Timber Wolf Chevrolet from the 14th position and took the lead on lap 176, but had to overcome a late caution which bunched up the field on lap 195. On the final five circuits, Kittleson was all over Miller's back bumper but raced him clean and wasn't able to get inside for the pass. At the line, it was Miller by 0.16 seconds over Kittleson, the closest margin of victory in the six races held at this facility.
"Butch is one of the cleanest drivers out there," Kittleson commented. "We've had our run-ins and I wanted to prove to him that I could run clean. Our car was best on short runs and his was best on long runs. It was one heck of a race and I had a great time out there."
By placing second, Kittleson matched his best career finish, with Stephen Leicht, Reed Sorenson and Casey Smith rounding off the top five. The highly competitive race saw 10 lead changes among seven drivers, including pole-sitter Zach Neissner, Mike Cope, Kevin Cywinski, Miller, Wade Day, Kittleson, and Joey Miller leading his first laps in ASA National Tour competition. The 10 lead changes and seven leaders both matched the ASA track records. The event was slowed by 13 cautions for a total of 95 laps.
The "choose rule" made its ASA debut, and as designed, gave the racers another level of race strategy. With one lap to go before returning to green flag action, drivers made a "choice" to go on either the high or low groove. At the SK Hand Tool 200, it was not uncommon to see the top four or five cars choose the low line, and the next car choosing to go high and starting in second position. The double file restart (a first in ASA competition) made for competitive action and was greeted favorably by the fans.
The Cool Shirt "Cool Move of the Race" award was given to Leicht for a last lap pass over Reed Sorenson to capture the final podium position. Ryan Unzicker was the Hard Charger of the race by moving up 26 positions, and the SK Hand Tool Crew Chief of the Race was Howie Lettow.
The ASA National Tour is next in action at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Ga on Saturday, May 1.
The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series and ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.
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