MONTEREY, Calif. (October 17, 2000) Johnny Miller, from Johnson City, Tenn., battled his way to a hard-fought fifth place Sunday as the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series contested Round Ten of the 2000 season at Laguna Seca Raceway. The 45-lap,...
MONTEREY, Calif. (October 17, 2000) Johnny Miller, from Johnson City, Tenn., battled his way to a hard-fought fifth place Sunday as the BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series contested Round Ten of the 2000 season at Laguna Seca Raceway. The 45-lap, 100.71-mile race was the final event of the Global Center Sports Car Championships Presented by Honda, and was a rough and tumble affair from the start.
"We got a horrible start," said Miller, who qualified his #64 Automationdirect.com / UPS / HITACHI / Cutler-Hammer Corvette sixth for the race. "We got stuck behind a slower car, and it seemed like the whole field went by us." Miller, who started sixth, dropped back as far as ninth in the early going before regrouping and pulling his way back up to fifth. "Unfortunately, once I'd gotten around the slower cars and made my way back up to fifth, I'd pretty well used up my car and didn't have anything left for (fourth-finishing) Stu Hayner.
"It was a pretty rough race out there today; everyone was leaning on everyone else. Still, the car is in one piece, we made it to the finish, and we finished better than we started. With all the problems we've had getting to the finish line, we'll take it. Now it's on to Las Vegas."
Miller, who scored his 18th career top five finish at Laguna Seca, the third of the 2000 season, comes out of Monterey eighth in season points, his best placing of the year to date and just 15 points out of seventh. Miller, the 1996 Trans-Am Rookie of the Year and the 1998 Most Improved Driver, has had his most competitive season ever, scoring two poles and one track record while leading three races though finishes have been atypically hard to come by this year. He is still third in owners' points, however, which include professionalism, marketing and presentation as well as on-track performance. The final two races of the 2000 season are set for Sunday, October 29 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Sunday, November 5 at the San Diego Grand Prix.