MOTOR MILE IS LW’s FAVORITE .416 MILE By Amy Hayes
LW Miller Takes Motor Mile Season Sweep in WSMT
Saturday night, in the mountains of Virginia, the air was chilly. But the fans and the competitors all braved the cold and gathered to see some Modified racing action. So while everyone bundled up to protect themselves against the chilly weather, LW Miller didn’t seem to mind the cold when he got out of his car, claiming his third victory of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour 2006 Season; he just celebrated.
Miller has been on a roll lately. He claimed his second victory of the season at Caraway just a few weeks ago and extended his roll this weekend to Motor Mile Speedway (VA), where he swept the Southern Modified Tour races at the track for the season. The last time that the Southern Modifieds were at this track, LW stole the show. Saturday night was just an encore performance.
“I don’t know what it is about this place,” said LW. “We came up here a few years back before they paved the track and I have run second both times. But never could get the car to be as good as what we needed.
LW Miller celebrated his third victory of the season at Motor Mile Speedway. (51 Photos)
“When they repaved the track, it made it so it just fits my driving style. It fits my racecar. It fits everything. Everything that we have just meshes at this track.”
Miller started from the eighth position, but by lap 15, he was passing Brian Loftin for the lead. After that, he didn’t look back.
During the first green flag run, which lasted 52 laps, Miller was able to extend a straightaway lead on second place. If the race had gone green, it looked as though he was on the path to lapping the field.
The caution came out when Loftin, who had fallen back through the field, spun and was able to nurse his car to pit road avoiding, contact with anyone and more importantly avoiding contact with the wall.
The caution flew again on lap 71 for fluid on the track. This is where things started to get a little interesting.
When the restart came at lap 77, Miller didn’t pull away like he had all night. It allowed second-place running Brian Pack to gain on Miller. Eventually, the two leaders caught lapped traffic, which had Pack up beside Miller for most of the rest of the night.
“That was a lot of fun,” said Pack. “I really like this track. My dad used to run here every Saturday night in Late Models. I watched him for a long time. We had a good car but I don’t think that I had anything for LW. The rest of the field couldn’t touch us though.
Brian Pack was fast on the track, but couldn't catch up to Miller.
“LW has this place figured out. He is good where ever he goes though. I am just happy to be in the top-three finally.
“It is cold out here, but it was warm in the car. Twenty more laps and maybe we could have caught him.”
Apparently the flag man (who was a local guy, not a NASCAR official) didn’t seem to think that the lapped traffic was having too much of an effect on the race.
“I don’t know who was flagging tonight,” added LW. “He was very liberal with the lapped flag. For the first 50 laps, every time I would catch a lapped car, I would look up and he wouldn’t fly the lapped flag. So he was laxing a little bit there. Once we got rolling and everyone figured where we were at, for the most part the lapped cars did a great job of getting out of the way. Sometimes we would run up there side by side, I just had to be a little patient wait for them to move out of the way and then I could go.”
ago, so it is a brand new car. I think for only my second time ever being in it and for it being a new race car we did really well.
“I don’t know if we would have had anything for LW. We were both good all day long; the thing is that our motor was skipping the entire race. I don’t really know why. We had that problem all through out practice too. We thought we had it fixed and after about 15 or 20 laps in to the race it skipped from that point on. We could close in on them, but it was hard to keep the momentum going. All in all considering that we had a good car.”
Judging from the amount of cars that finished on the lead lap (six out of the 21 who took the green) it doesn’t seem as though anyone, not just Ward really had much of anything for LW. Now he has three wins under his belt for the 2006 season and is riding third in the WSMT points heading into the season finale next week at Southern National Raceway Park in Kenly, North Carolina.
Up front, there wasn’t much of a battle as MIller led all the way to the end from lap-15 to the finish. However, one of the fastest cars on the track may have had something for LW, he just wasn’t quite able to get up front fast enough.
Modified newcomer (and UARA Points leader) Brandon Ward was able to bring his machine home to a third-place finish in only his second Modified start. He qualified fifth, but redrew ninth and spent much of his evening working his way up front.
“These cars are a lot of fun to drive,” said Ward. “I want to thank the team for giving me the opportunity to drive this car. They only got it together about four weeks