"BO KNOWS" BOWLING GREEN VICTORY LANE by Dan Butler
Miller Beats Middleton In ASA South Showdown
Bo Jackson may have been famous for his mult-sport talents in Football and Baseball. But when it comes to the ASA Late Model ranks and racing in Kentucky, there is only one Bo that knows Bowling Green. Bo Miller of Bowling Green, Kentucky returned to his home-town track, Beech Bend Speedway, to compete in the second race of the 2006 ASA South Series schedule. Miller took full advantage of his home field edge ending his night in a place where he feels most at home, victory lane.
Miller is the four-time late model track champion at Bowling Green's famed Beech Bend Motorsports Park (2002-2005), and knows his way around the tricky 1/3 mile track, which started it's life as a parking lot for the amusment park located on the grounds. Bowling Green is a handful for any Short Track competitor. With no banking degree in turns three and four and a minus degree in turns one and two, ASA Late Model Teams had to get their setup just right to keep the rubber and brakes on the right front of he car. Bo Miller used that knowledge and experience to his advantage.
On the outside pole at the start was another brigh young star, James Bueschar of Sheraton, Texas.
Bueschar took the lead at the drop of the green, but it was Miller and ASA South points leader Jay Middleton who were on the move to the front. By lap 37, Miller had taken the lead with Middleton all over his back bumber. On lap 63, Middleton finally got underneath Miller in turn 3 but slower traffic got in his way and Miller was able to get back around Miller on the front stretch. A few laps later, Middleton got into the back of Miller and peeled the hood back on the right front which dissrupted the front downforce and made his car tight. With Middleton struggling with the handeling on his car, Miller was able to put a car length between himself and Middleton for the win.
Bo Miller had the hardware to prove he knows Bowling Green. (51 Photos/Bo Miller)
Young Keeton Hanks was one of the ASA Late Model drivers who had trouble during hot laps with a blown right front tire which sent him into the turn 2 wall, but he was able to come back and qualify fifth fastest.
But it was Miller, who showed them all how to do it setting a new track record during qualifying (15.650 seconds). Miller drew a tenth on the invert, which put rookie Nick Neville on the pole for the 100-lap feature.
Nick, along with his brother Derek traveled from Macinaw, IL to make not only their first start in the ASA series, but their first start on asphalt. The Neville brothers are regular dirt modified drivers at Farmer's City in Illinois and between them had 3 wins in the past 2 weeks.
"Those slower cars were my best friends towards the end," said Miller after the win. "Each time Jay got along side of me, it seemed that there was always a lapped car boxing him in. I had a little homefield advantage and a whole lot of luck, It was awesome to be back home and to get a win in front of such a great crowd. It looked like the whole city of Bowling Green was here tonight. I'm just glad the rain held off so we could get this win.
"Jay was real stout. We helped him get his setup dialed in earlier in the day, but I think I helped him too much, he was all over me," said Miller after the race. "Jay ran real good down in Bronson (Bronson Motor Speedway in
Bo Miller leads Jay Middleton around the bend at Beech Bend. (51 Photos/Dan Butler)
Florida) a few weeks ago, and he helpedme get my car dialed in there, so I wanted to return the favor here tonight. Basically we compared notebooks, I just hope he (Middleton) returns the favor next week when we go to Pensacola. They tell me that track (Five Flags Speedway) is a killer on tires, but that's all I know. It sould be fun!"
"The home track advantage switches to the runner-up finisher the next time the ASA South competitors get back in action. Middleton is one of the only drivers in the ASA South series who has raced at Five Flags Speedway in Florida, which is the next stop on the schedule. Middleton, Keeton Hanks and Bueschar were among the drivers who made appearances during the Snowball Derby weekend at Pensacola back in December.
I'm really looking forward to next week in Pensacola (FL)," said Middleton. "It was great to finish second to the track champion at Beech Bend tonight, but I think I can get him back at Five Flags Speedway."