LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 10, 2000) Johnny Miller has only one podium spot left to achieve in his Automationdirect.com/UPS Corvette when the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series contests Round Three at the Johnson Controls 100 Presented By Simple...
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 10, 2000) Johnny Miller has only one podium spot left to achieve in his Automationdirect.com/UPS Corvette when the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series contests Round Three at the Johnson Controls 100 Presented By Simple Green at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach — the top spot. In the past two seasons, Miller has come home third and second, respectively, at the Long Beach Trans-Am race. When the series makes its annual visit to the oceanside street party on April 16, there is only one place Miller, of Johnson City, TN, feels he needs to be, and that's on the top of the podium.
"We've shown we're as fast as anyone out there this year," says Miller, 34, who sat on the pole with a new track record at the season opening race at Sebring. He led nearly half the race there until a last-lap incident left him on the sidelines. Round two, contested on April 1st, saw an even more disappointing finish. "We had some engine problems at Charlotte that put us out early, but we've tracked them down and we're confident we're on top of that," said Miller, who was the Trans-Am Rookie of the Year in 1996, and voted the series' Most Improved Driver in 1998. "It wasn't anyone's fault really, more of a communication problem than anything. We've got everyone on the same page now, and we're going to Long Beach for one reason only. We're going there to win."
Sporting another of the wild graphics schemes for which he's famous, Miller, who was born in Los Angeles, returns with long-time major sponsor, Automationdirect.com, the industrial control products online superstore. In addition, package delivery service giant UPS has come aboard as an associate sponsor, making a major contribution to the cause and seeing to it that Miller gets an 'on-time' delivery to the races. Joining those two, Cutler-Hammer has also come aboard. Cutler-Hammer, a division of Eaton Corporation, is a leader in the development and manufacturing of power distribution equipment, electrical control products, and advanced industrial automation solutions. "Along with our starship graphics, we consider all these great companies coming together to back us as our own "Federation," comments Miller. "We've banded together, and hope our combined efforts will yield a result greater than the sum of the parts. It's going to be a tall order to give them all a return they can be happy with, but we're ready. I've put a lot of effort into assembling my crew, and we've got team of people that I am very proud of as well. We're ready to bravely go where no Trans-Am team has ever gone!"
The 51-lap, 100.47-mile sprint around the reconfigured 1.97-mile, 11-turn Long Beach Grand Prix circuit is scheduled to start at 3:45 pm (PDT) on Sunday, April 16. Television coverage will be tape-delayed, on the Speedvision Network, with the telecast set to begin at 8:00 pm (EDT) on Friday, April 21. Repeat telecasts will begin four hours later, at 12:00 am (EDT) on Saturday, April 22, and again at 2:00 pm (EDT) on Friday, April 28.