Mechanical issues can't stop Miller Motorsports from first Top 10 Finish at Shenandoah Speedway. Working with a mid-week race was not even a bump in the road for the 76n Arena Racing/RaceTalklive.com Ford Fusion. Right off the trailer the...
Mechanical issues can't stop Miller Motorsports from first Top 10 Finish at Shenandoah Speedway.
Working with a mid-week race was not even a bump in the road for the 76n Arena Racing/RaceTalklive.com Ford Fusion. Right off the trailer the Miller Motorsports Ford Fusion was a top five car in the first practice session and seemed to have a good starting point for the race set-up. "The car felt really good after practice, with only minor changes in the set-up being made before qualifying" said driver Travis Miller.
When qualifying started, Travis being the first car out set the bench mark at a 16.02. His time would stand for a better part of the first 10 drivers, and then slowly fell into the 12th starting position. As the race started, Travis was able to hold his own running the outside line for the first 20 laps before being able to get inline. Once in line, Travis would find himself watching some real hard racing going on in front of him. Travis stuck to his plan to take care of his equipment and let the front runner's come to him.
When it came time for the pit stops at lap 112, the pits grew very tight, but the Miller Motorsports pit crew was ready to knock off a fast pit stop. Travis brought the 76n Ford Fusion down pit road running in 10th position, and with a flawless pit stop the Miller Motorsports pit crew sent Travis back onto the track in 5th spot.
As the race went on, Travis reported that it felt like something had broke in the front end that was causing the car to push up in the corners. With only having completed half the race, but still running 6th Travis was forced to change his line around the newly constructed speedway to compensate for the ill handling race car. As his spotter Matt Miller and crew chief Scott Prillman talked to Travis on the radio, they were able to keep the young driver focused, even though things went from bad to worse when Travis reported that his brakes were also fading. A Red Flag at lap 228 was what the team needed to cool off the brakes and give Travis a shot at running down the leaders. At the restart, Travis was holding his own for the 20 lap shoot out.
At the conclusion of the race Travis had held on to finish 9th, making that his first top 10 finish of his Rookie season, also capturing his first "Rookie of the Race". To the surprise of the crew, once the car was unloaded at Miller Motorsports shop in Chesapeake, Va. it was discovered that the broken part Travis was trying to describe during the race turned out to be the adjuster for the sway bar arm. Somehow the sway bar adjuster had broken off shortly after the pit stop leaving the 76n car with a 3" gap in between the sway bar arm and the front suspension. "Even with an ill handling car, Travis Miller and the Arena Racing/Racetalklive.com Ford Fusion were hard to stop," said jack man Floyd Crouch.
The team's next race is the Naturally Fresh 250, Friday May 12, 2006 at the Kil-Kare Speedway in Xenia Ohio. The race will be televised May 17th at 5pm and rebroadcast on May 19th at 10am; both will air on Speed Channel.