The Chrome Horn News


Penalty 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 to 2nd.
   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


Source:  Bowman Gray Stadium PR
Posted:  June 22, 2008

©2008 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.