Jeremy Miller charged from the sixth starting spot to win his second Pro Late Model race in three nights of racing at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. The 2018 Big 8 Series champion used restarts to move his way through the field to get to second, then passed Todd Stone with five laps to go to pick up the win.
“I was a little nervous at the start of the race there,” Miller told Speed51.com. “Everybody was running the same speed and with everything I was doing I couldn’t get around anybody. About halfway through the race there the tires finally came up and the car came to life.”
Stone, who made the trip south from Vermont, took the lead from Jackson Boone on Lap 14 and appeared to be on his way to his first Pro Late Model win at Speedweeks. However, Miller was able to catch him and complete the pass late to extend his week-long points lead.
“He was just getting a little loose getting into three,” Miller said. “I thought if he could get a little loose, I can drive underneath him and we got him off of four.”
“Our car was really good until about ten to go, then we really started getting loose in and loose off,” said Stone, who recorded his second straight runner-up finish. “I was just trying to hold the bottom and protect it, but I screwed up once and he got beside me. He’s a good racer. It was clean and it’s real fun to race him. We just have to do the best we can do and keep coming back and making the car better every day.”
Headlines were made after Friday night’s race when a tweet from fellow competitor Hailie Deegan drew attention to Miller’s engine-rev limiter combination, which led to Tech Director Ricky Brooks looking over the engine in question and confirming its legality. However, that engine expired on Monday during practice and Miller had to go to a backup car. Miller says he is comfortable with where the backup car is for the rest of the week.
“It’s a different car. We had the motor blow up in the primary car, which was so good. But the last two days, we’ve been thrashing on this one and we finally got it to where it’s pretty good driving.”
While Miller finished Tuesday night’s feature in victory lane, Monday night’s winner Augie Grill night – and potentially his World Series – ended prematurely when he cut a right front tire and hit the turn four wall on lap 12. He came into the night second in Pro Late Model points.
For Miller, Speedweeks means much more to him than his last ride in a race car before retirement. His family makes his final races even more special to him. He also has his late father riding shotgun with him as he fulfills a bucket list item the two shared.
“It’s real special. They got to go tonight and the kids have to go to school on Thursday, so they got to go home tomorrow. They couldn’t make it the first night when we won. They flew in on Saturday, so I wanted to make sure I got them a win before they left.
“I lost my dad a couple years ago. My biggest thing was we always wanted to come down here together. We couldn’t come down here together because we lost him. I’m all done after this. It ain’t quite as fun without him, so we got him in the car riding with us all week and he’s brought us some damn good luck.”
Anthony Campi Racing driver Sammy Smith, Nova Scotia native Nicholas Naugle and Jamie Skinner completed the top five.
Race fans can find on-demand coverage of Tuesday’s World Series action from New Smyrna by visiting Speed51.com’s Trackside Now.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Pro Late Model Unofficial Results - Night #5
New Smyrna Speedway (FL) - February 12, 2019