Miller Goes For Two In A Row At Ace Speedway
After finishing in the top 10 at the season-opening race at Concord Speedway, most drivers would be pretty happy heading into this weekend’s Lightnin’ Fast 150 at Ace Speedway but then again, L.W. Miller (No. 36 John Baker Plumbing & Utilities Pontiac) isn’t like most drivers.
Miller hopes his luck will change this Friday when the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to Ace Speedway, where the Dushore, Penn., native scored his last win on the Tour at this event in 2008.
“I love racing at Ace Speedway,” said Miller. “It is a track that has been around a long time but Greg (Davis) and his staff have done a great job of keeping it up and we always seem to run well there.”
The Lightnin’ Fast 150 will be the first of two events at the track this season and Miller said the driver and team that can come out of Ace with their car in one piece has a chance to get a head start on the season.
"We got off to a great start last year winning the season opener and following that up with a win at Ace,” said Miller.
“Then for some reason, we just couldn’t get back to Victory Lane. We had a rough start to the season last week and Ace could help our team get back on track and I am looking forward to this Friday night.”
Miller is the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion and said that while his team wants to win another title, he thinks sometimes winning a championship can make you comfortable and sometimes adversity can help a team become reenergized.
“Everyone at Baker Motorsports wants to win every time we go to the track and last week we had a bad night,” said Miller. “We got collected in an accident on the final lap at Concord but were able to limp the car home in seventh place. Danny Baker and Tony Templeton drove all night Sunday up North to get another clip put on the car and this situation has given our team even more drive to go out this weekend and sweep the pole and win.”
Miller was making reference to his incident in Turn 3 on the final lap when J.R. Bertuccio and Ron Silk got together and collected Miller. Miller was able to finish the race and salvage a finish that he feels the team can use to help focus for the championship run.
“We still have a lot of racing on the schedule and we plan on doing everything we can to win our second championship,” said Miller. “Ace is a track that can help us get back to Victory Lane.”
New Management Team Has Big Plans For Ace In 2009
Ace Speedway is ready for its season opener this Friday night as the track welcomes the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour to kick off the new racing year in Alamance County, N.C.
"These are exciting times at Ace,” said Greg Davis, CEO and general manager of Ace Speedway. "The new management team of Kathy Thompson, Sean Holley and myself, along with staff at The Ace have been working with renewed enthusiasm to put together the 2009 season."
Dean Fogleman is the defending Late Model champion at the .400-mile speedway. The Burlington, N.C., driver captured his first track championship with a third-place finish in the final race of the year. The finish gave the 18-year veteran the title by two points — one position on the track — over 12-race winner Speedy Faucette. Scotty Warren finished third in points, followed by Rodney Cook and Jesse Ingle III.
Brad Allen (Modified), Michael Tucker (Mini Stock) and John Moore (Sportsman) also won track championships in 2008.
In addition to hosting the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour, Ace will kick off its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season Friday night. Weekly divisions include Late Models, Modified, Mini Stocks and X-treme Cars.
Ace will also be the venue for many other events including gospel concerts, a regional wine tasting event, armed forces events, as well as other lifestyle, sports, entertainment programs and an innovative green racing initiative.
News & Notes
The Race … The Lightin’ Fast 150 will be the second of 16 races on the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule, and one of two trips to Ace. The tour will return Oct. 2.
The Procedure … Starting Positions 1-24 will be determined from time trials. The remaining two spots will be filled through the provisional process. The race is 150 laps (60 miles).
The Track … A semi-banked, .400-mile oval, Ace Speedway dates back to the 1950s in Alamance County. Formerly known as Southern Speedway, Ace is located in Altamahaw. It was constructed in 1956 by Roy Maddren, and operated as a .333-mile dirt track until 1984 when it was expanded.
Race Winners … There have been six different race winners in six races at Ace Speedway. The inaugural event — Sept. 5, 2005 — was actually run as a double-header. Junior Miller won the first race, while Burt Myers (who finished second to Miller) came back to win the second. Jay Hedgecock (2005), Brian King (2006), Tim Brown (2007) and L.W. Miller (2008) have also picked up wins at Ace.
Pole Winners … There have been four different Coors Light Pole Award winners at Ace. Brown is the only driver to have won twice. He also holds the qualifying record with his run of 14.710 seconds (97.893 mph) in 2007. Myers, Michael Clifton and L.W. Miller have also won poles at Ace.
History … Myers has enjoyed the most success at Ace. In addition to his win, he has finished in the top four in four of the other five events. Brian Loftin is second with four top-five finishes, including a runner-up finish in Oct. 2005. His 17th-place finish at Ace last year was the worst of his championship run.
Weekend Recap: Capital Bank 150
Brunnhoelzl Starts Late, Finishes Up Front: The title hope for George Brunnhoelzl III (No. 28 Oval Speed/ Fibrwrap/PT Ford) looked like it took a major hit when he broke a cam on the first lap of the second practice session.
The team thrashed to get the engine changed out, and while Brunnhoelzl missed qualifying, they were able to finish the job in time to roll the car out for the starting grid.
After starting last, Brunnhoelzl wasted no time in moving up through the field. He was 11th by Lap 10, and slipped by Burt Myers for third on Lap 63. He made it up to second, but was passed by Rowan Pennink on a late-race restart and finished third. Brunnhoelzl also collected the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award.
Ward Cashes In With Sixth: Brendan Ward (No. 93 Old Town Jewelry & Pawn Chevrolet) came home with a strong sixth-place finish. Not only did it earn him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award, but Ward also picked up the Coca-Cola Move Of The Race Award. Ward was 14th in the 2008 season finale at Caraway.
History Of Good Starts For Christopher: The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour schedule has provided the northern drivers with a chance to get racing before the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour opener and nobody has taken advantage of it like Ted Christopher. His win Saturday marked the third time Christopher has won the Southern opener, following up wins in 2005 and 2006.
The Race: Lightnin’ Fast 150
The Place: Ace Speedway,
The Date: Friday, March 27, 2009
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .4-mile paved
Race Purse: $24,806
2008 Winner: L.W. Miller
2008 Pole: L.W. Miller
Schedule: Friday, March 27: Practice
Time Trials: 7 p.m.