JUNIOR MILLER TAKES
FLEMING WAS WINNER AT BOWMAN GRAY
gives the Tucson 100 victory to Chris Fleming
Junior Miller was especially pleased to take the checkered in the Tucson
100 on Saturday – it was the 69th time that the driver of the number 69
car had won at the Stadium.
Or at least he thought he won.
Miller’s car was formally protested by Chris Fleming of Mt. Airy,
who finished in second right behind Junior. Technical inspection
revealed that Miller’s engine had improper heads, and he was taken from
the lead down to a last-place finish. Fleming was declared the winner.
The race started off on a good note for Danbury resident Junior
Miller, who drew the pole as his starting position in the Tucson 100 for
the Farm Bureau Insurance Modified Series. Miller led start to finish,
defending the top spot against several challenges.
The performance was a welcome change for Miller, who has had his
fair share of bad luck in 2008. He missed one event after wrecking in
practice and had been unable to break into the top 5 entering Saturday’s
race. “It’s just one thing after another, it seems,” said Miller.
The greatest challenge to his lead, ironically, came from the one
rule change that Miller has been passionately advocating – the new
double-file restart rule for Modified 100-lappers. The rule, new in
2008, allows competitors to choose whether they will start in the inside
or outside lane after a caution. “Every time there was a double-file
restart, anybody can choose to jump up there beside you. You’ve just got
to be on your toes and make sure you can get on the gas just right to
beat them down the straightaway,” said Miller.
Miller had such a situation on his hands when Mike Herman of Kannapolis
pulled to the outside during a restart to challenge Miller for the lead.
Herman was holding his own against “The King of the Modifieds” – a feat
that is especially difficult from the outside lane. The noise from the
crowd could be heard over the cars as Herman came inches from passing
Miller. But as Herman pushed hard to get by Miller, he flew too fast
into the turn – causing him to almost lose control and spin. Miller
stayed in the lead.
The number 69 car of Junior Miller continued to maintain the lead
despite a few taps to the bumper from the second place car of Chris
Fleming. Another fan of the double-file restart rule, Fleming went to
the outside nearly every chance he could get. “I come over there to put
on a show. I wasn’t going to stay in line,” said Fleming. The risky
strategy paid off, eventually moving Fleming from a 17th place start up
But Fleming evidently felt that something was amiss with Junior
Miller’s motor. He lodged a formal protest, Miller was found to have
improper engine heads, and Fleming was awarded the win. “It’s a long
time coming,” said Fleming, whose last win came in 2002. Saturday’s
Tucson 100 was Fleming’s second victory at the Stadium.
Tim Brown of Cana, Va. finished in second with Brian Pack of
Walkertown taking third.
Results from Bowman Gray Stadium
June 21, 2008
1. Chris Fleming
2. Tim Brown
3. Brian Pack
4. Burt Myers
5. Brad Robbins
6. Jeremy Stoltz
7. Lee Jeffreys
8. Randy Butner
9. Al Hill
10. Michael Clifton
11. Robert Jeffreys
12. Jonathan Brown
13. Andrew Durham
14. Bobby Hutchens
15. Kevin Powell
16. Brody Jones
17. Stan Welborn
18. Bobby Foley
19. Mike Herman, Jr.
20. Brent Elliott
21. Junior Miller