Hesperia, Calif. (September 17, 2008) â€“ Joel Miller finished second and fourth this past weekend to keep himself in contention for the Star Mazda Championship. However, the showing did not reveal his full potential as Miller’s car was the one to beat all weekend. He topped the time sheets in every session except one, which was due to a mechanical issue, and then went onto qualify on the pole by half a second for race one.
When the lights went green Miller did not waste any time and pulled out to a 2.7-second lead over the field. He was able to keep the lead for the first 21 laps of the 32-lap race, but when overtaking some lapped slower traffic was forced off the track to avoid a collision. â€œThe one section of track that I did not want to catch traffic is where it all happened. The track offers very little passing opportunities so most of the overtaking is higher risk; if I sat behind the lap traffic I would have lost my lead over second at the time.
“It is really frustrating coming up with a second when we had a large lead and only 11 laps left until the checkered,â€ Miller commented after the race.
This weekend was a double header for the Star Mazda Championship which meant another race Sunday afternoon. Starting second, Miller got off the line without any drama. He ran in third for the first quarter of the race keeping close to the leaders to not overuse the tires. However, just before halfway his front wing flap collapsed giving the car very little front downforce resulting in a major understeer. It was only a matter of time before the left front tire gave up total grip. Managing the issue, Miller was able to bring the car home in fourth to stay in the championship battle.
â€œDisappointed is the word I would use to describe my thoughts from the weekend and todayâ€™s race. The team gave me a car capable of P1 all weekend. On the positive side, I have to say that we are still in the championship and the car is really strong right now. The team and I need to continue our hard work into Atlanta to again be the car to beat,â€ Miller said Sunday afternoon. He currently sits third in the championship going into the final two races.
The team conducted a successful test on Tuesday at Road Atlanta in which Miller was again quickest over his rivals.
he next round in the Star Mazda Championship Series will be at Road Atlanta for the support of the American LeMans Series for the Petit Le Mans weekend. Joel would like to thank all his supporters MAZDASPEED, K&N Air Filters, Mockett Company, Classic Stone Distributors, Sportsdrink+, Sparco, DreamCars, Oakley and all the crew at JDC Motorsports for their continued support during this race season.
For more information on Joel Miller please visit http://www.teamusascholarship.org/admin/pages/www.joelmillerracing.net for up to date information.