CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 6, 2000) - Finishing the first half of the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series on a high note, Johnny Miller brought his ...
CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 6, 2000) - Finishing the first half of the 2000 BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series on a high note, Johnny Miller brought his #64 Automationdirect.com/ UPS / HITACHI / Cutler-Hammer Corvette home to a strong second place at last weekend's Simple Green Trans-Am 100, part of the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by Firstar. It was Round Six of the 2000 season, and Miller's first podium finish of the year.
"This was really important for the whole team, to get a strong finish like this," said Miller, 34, of Johnson City, Tenn. "It was very gratifying, especially since the car was pretty bad in practice this morning. We put our heads together for about three hours and made some changes, and wound up with a really good racecar. I have to commend the whole team for the effort."
Miller started in the third position for the 47-lap, 98.982-mile sprint around Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport, but grabbed the second slot in the first turn, "and never looked back," said the 1996 Trans-Am Rookie of the Year. "I thought we had something for Paul (Gentilozzi, the race winner). I got close a couple of times. We ran a pretty quick pace; we lapped all but the top eight cars." There were a season-high 38 starters for the race. Miller finished 1.593 seconds behind Gentilozzi, whom he pressured all afternoon. Series points leader and three-time 2000 winner Brian Simo came home third.
The finish moves Miller up to twelfth in season points. The series now takes a six-week break before coming back for the second half of the season, starting with Round Seven at the Motorola 225 weekend at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin's Road America, on August 18 and 19.
"We're going to take a week off, then regroup and do some testing to get ready for the next six races," said Miller. "We're going to try and figure out what we did right and what we did wrong in the first half of the year. We've run very well, even led races, but had some spectacular failures. Still, we think third place in the championship is certainly possible this year, and we're going to go for it."
The telecast of the Cleveland race will be Saturday, July 8, at 12:00 noon EDT on the Speedvision Network. The encore telecast will also be on Speedvision, beginning at 12:00 pm EDT on July 14.