Jeremy Miller, three-time Big 8 Series champion, advanced from his tenth starting position to claim victory in the caution-free 48 lap McGrath Family of Dealerships “Clash at the Downs” at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids Iowa Friday night.
The victory is Miller’s thirteenth career Big 8 Series win, which leads the all-time series wins list.
Miller grabbed the lead on the race’s 18th lap and slowly padded his lead from there over the course of the race’s final 30 laps.
“The outside just went at the start, I got lucky,” Miller said from victory lane. “I got up to third, and it was just meant to be tonight. Just a good night.”
Griffin McGrath, a Hawkeye Downs regular, captured his third career Big 8 Series fast qualifier award and made his way through the field to finish second, which was one spot short for his liking.
“The car was decent, it just sucked the first ten laps,” said McGrath. “I just could not get on the top, which is exactly what I like to do. I just couldn’t get up there with him.”
Another Hawkeye Downs regular rounding out the top-three was multi-time track champion Brian Gibson, who made his first start of the year in the Big 8 stop at Hawkeye Downs Friday night. The drive felt great for Gibson, who dealt with many challenges on route to his best Big 8 finish, including losing brakes early in the race, and being on a fire call all night before thanks to his responsibilities as a local fire department chief.
“(Third place), no brakes, up all night with no sleep. On Wednesday in practice we were way out in left field…it’s a moral victory without a doubt,” Gibson said. “I wish the brakes would have been working better I think we would have had something for Jeremy (Miller) and definitely Griff (McGrath).”
The Big 8 Late Model Series next heads to Madison International Speedway on Friday night June 29th for the annual ‘Salute to America’ event, a race in which Miller is the defending champion. The Big 8 Series will run alongside the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series at Madison on June 29 and the evening is scheduled to be capped off by a large Fireworks display.
For more information on the Big 8 Late Model Series, please visit big8series.com.
-Big 8 Series Press Release & Photo
McGrath Family of Dealerships “Clash at the Downs IV” (48 laps) Results
Hawkeye Downs Speedway (Cedar Rapids, IA)
Friday, June 1, 2018
1. Jeremy Miller Rockford, IL
2. Griffin McGrath Cedar Rapids, IA
3. Brian Gibson Walford, IA
4. Nick Egan Slinger, WI
5. Matt Lundberg Rockton, IL
6. Jacob Goede Carver, MN
7. Brody Willett Alburnett, IA
8. Joe Neisius Rosemount, MN
9. Ryan Kamish Farmington, MN
10. Dylan Moore Northfield, MN
11. Grant Brown Prior Lake, MN
12. Michael Haggar Hanover, MN
13. Jon Reynolds Jr Loves Park, IL
14. Jerry Mueller Richfield, WI
15. Jacob Nottestad Stoughton, WI
16. Chris Storey Burlington, WI
17. Mark Greb Coralville, IA
18. Scott Siems Cedar Rapids, IA
19. Chad Siems Shellsburg, IA
20. Brad Osborn Janesville, IA
21. Tyler Brown Carol Stream, IL
Heat Race Winners: McGrath, Willett, Miller
Fast Qualifier: McGrath
Car Count: 21 Big 8 Series Late Models