NO SURPRISE: MILLER MASTERS MODS AT CARAWAY By Jeremy Troiano
Brown Not Happy With Miller’s Late-Race Driving
There isn’t better way to put it than that Saturday night’s NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Caraway Speedway was a microcosm of what the 2006 season has been thus far. Why?
First, Junior Miller won the race. Not only did he win the race, but he won at Caraway Speedway. It was Miller’s third win in four races so far this season at Caraway. Oh, and Miller is currently the Whelen Southern Modified Tour points leader, so it's no surprise that he was out front.
Behind Miller, finishing second after leading a bunch of laps, was Tim Brown. Brown, who sits second in the points behind Miller, was always right there, but just like its been all year long, didn’t quite have enough for the “King of the Southern Modifieds.”
Finishing third was LW Miller. LW has been fast all year long, everywhere he’s been. He’s won a race, coming earlier this year at Motor Mile. However, he’s missed a couple of events, putting him out of the points race. However, its not surprising to see the “other” Miller up front all of the time, and after leading laps early in the event, LW was right there on Saturday night.
So it’s no surprise that Junior found himself in Victory Lane at the end of the night. And he did it in typical Junior Miller style.
Junior did it again at Caraway. (51 Photo)
Starting sixth, Miller spent little time working his way toward the front, taking the lead for the first time on lap 17. He spent several laps pacing the field. However, just like he’s used to, he decided to back it down one notch, electing to save his tires for the end.
He painted a perfect picture of conserving tires.
“I jumped up and led about 50 laps or so there,” said Junior. “Then, those guys behind me decided that they waned to go more than I wanted to go at that point, so I let them go. I watched them and how they were running there right before those couple of cautions came out. That wasn’t the way you were going to win the race.
“I got back up there and just rode while those guys ahead of me raced hard. The 50 car (Michael Clifton) got loose there with about 25 to go, so we jumped up by him. Then, with about 10 to go, the 83 (Brown) gave up so I just jumped up by him. We had a good racecar.”
However, it wasn’t as easy as Junior just getting by Brown, who led the race from lap 53 until lap 143, when Junior took the top spot back over.
Brown wasn’t happy after the race with how Junior used his front bumper to move Brown’s #83 out of the way.
“I was still pretty good,” said Brown. “He just drove through me to beat me. If he is all that good, he just
Tim Brown won the pole and led just under 100 laps... but he didn't win the race.
needs to be able to pass somebody. I guess that is hard racing. I guess the next time I’m behind him and I need to pass him, I’ll move his ass out of the way.”
It sounded almost like the race was an hour north at Bowman-Gray Stadium instead of at Caraway. During post-race celebrations, the crowd cheered Junior in v-lane, while they let Brown have it for what they thought was mirror driving.
“Hats off to Junior though; he did a great job. He rode when he needed too and he went when he needed too. Tim got up there and probably ran harder than he should of leading it, but this is racing.”
Another reason that everyone needed to look around and make sure the series wasn’t in Winston Salem and Bowman Gray Stadium was because the #69 found its way to Victory Lane again, rather easily.
“I don’t know what I like about this place. I’ve won a bunch of races here. I’ve probably won just as much here as I have at Bowman Gray,” added Junior. “I don’t
If never happened, and LW just tried to hold on instead.
“I thought I’d have a better car than that tonight,” said LW. “The car was real good in practice. We just got real loose in the end. Typically the end of the race is my strong point. I tried to pass Junior there with maybe 40 to go and come 25 to go or so, I was done. At that point, I was just hoping for a caution to jam us back up and hoping for some sparks or for something else to happen because at that point, I was done.
Junior also thought Brown was driving more using his rearview mirror rather than out the windshield.
“He kind of was mirror driving where I needed and wanted to go,” added Junior. “I had to bump and nudge him a little bit. But hey, that’s racing. If he doesn’t like that, he needs to stay at home. When they slow down two-tenths, you’ve got to do something.”
Behind Junior and Brown was LW, who was just riding, hoping the bumping and banging between the two top would help him gain a win.
Miller's front bumper had a little big of a "ding."
know how many I’ve won here, probably around 40 or 50. I guess that is why I like it. I know it good, but my boys have to give me a good race car. With a little bit of luck, a good racecar and a little bit of know how on how to drive is what it takes.”
Brian Loftin followed LW to grab fourth, with Brian King fifth.