TOCCOA, Ga. – Audio and recap by Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online – Chris Seelman photo – Sunday night at Toccoa Speedway, “Hollywood” Michael Miller lived up to his nickname and put on a show.
Miller, the 2000 United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Rookie of the Year, went to the high side and blew past K&N pole-sitter Collin Cabre on the opening lap of the “Sunday of Speed” 30-lap A-main at Toccoa Speedway and dominated the event, weaving in and out of traffic, leading by a half track at one point and hanging on through two late race restarts to break a three-year winless drought in USCS competition.
The victory was Miller’s fourth career USCS feature win and first since 2011, when Miller won the prestigious Randy Helton Memorial at East Alabama Motor Speedway.
“Priceless,” a near-speechless Miller said in www.rockauto.com USCS Victory Lane.
“It kind of blows me away, how good this car was tonight. We struggled a little bit early, but buckled down at the trailer and you know, I wasn’t real wound up like I normally am,” Miller laughed. “I wasn’t real pumped up and going, going, going but I kept thinking about the top! Anyone that has seen me race knows that’s where I like to run and it paid off tonight.”
Two cautions inside the final ten laps changed the course of the event after the first 20 circuits were run under green. The first caution flew at lap 20 when Brandon McLain spun in turn two and simultaneously, second-running Eric Riggins Jr. came to a stop in turn four after breaking a power steering line.
After the restart was when things would get dicey, however.
With traffic brewing again, the lapped machine of Kris Davis spun in front of the front-runners with four laps to go in turn four. New second-place man Anthony Nicholson had nowhere to go and spun into the No. 121 car, with third and fifth-place Terry Gray and Morgan Turpen piling in as well. Gray got air-time after jumping the wheel of one of the stopped cars and Turpen received top wing damage after she drove underneath her teammate in the fray. In a testament to the safety of the cars, all drivers walked away, and Gray was remarkably able to continue in the event.
None of the cars were any match for Miller however, who drove away on the restart and collected the hardware for his efforts.
Thonotosossa, Florida young gun Collin Cabre ended the night with his best-career USCS finish in second, and fellow Floridian Terry Witherspoon, from Jacksonville, scored a season-best third place run. Ten-time series champion Gray, who flipped in his heat race as well, started 16th and charged to a remarkable fourth place finish and his teammate Jeff Willingham, from Ripley, Mississippi, had a resurgent night finishing fifth, his second USCS top-five this season.
Brandon McLain, from Indian Trail, North Carolina, was the first car one lap down and finished sixth. Jesup, Georgia native and Active-duty Army veteran Clint Weiss crossed the twin checkers in seventh and Pendergrass, Georgia’s Brian Thomas was eighth. Former Carolina region 305 sprint car champion Johnny Petrozelle ended the night in ninth, and 15-year-old Florida rookie Nick Snyder completed the top ten.
Turpen kicked off the evening’s racing action by winning the Hoosier Tire Speed Dash, and Jeff Willingham scored the win in the Engler Machine and Tool First Heat. Miller rolled to the victory in the Butlerbuilt Second Heat.
Anthony Nicholson was the provisional polesitter after scoring the most passing points in heat race action, but after a six came up in the K&N Inversion Draw, Collin Cabre received his first-career K&N Filters Pole Award. Terry Gray passed the most cars in the A-main (twelve) to grab the Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award.
The United Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N continues their 2014 schedule with a special Labor Day event on Monday night, September 1st at Ray Cook’s Tri-County Race Track in Brasstown, NC.
RESULTS: USCS Sprint Car Series “Sunday of Speed”; Toccoa Speedway; August 31st, 2014
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: Morgan Turpen, Anthony Nicholson, Terry Witherspoon, Michael Miller, Terry Gray, Eric Riggins Jr.
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: Jeff Willingham, Anthony Nicholson, Collin Cabre, Terry Witherspoon, Brandon McLain, Brian Thomas, Kent Wolters, Johnny Petrozelle, Joe Larkin, Jay Dunham (DNS).
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: Michael Miller, Eric Riggins Jr., Morgan Turpen, Clint Weiss, Kris Davis, Nick Snyder, Matt Hope, Terry Gray, Kyle Amerson.
USCS Sprint Car Series filtercharged by K&N Sunday of Speed A-main: 30-laps
- #4M – Michael Miller, Ocean Springs, MS
- #12C – Collin Cabre, Thonotosossa, FL
- #43 – Terry Witherspoon, Jacksonville, FL
- #10 – Terry Gray, Bartlett, TN
- #28 – Jeff Willingham, Ripley, MS
- #21B – Brandon McLain, Indian Trail, NC
- #0X – Clint Weiss, Jesup, GA
- #67 – Brian Thomas, Pendergrass, GA
- #59III – Johnny Petrozelle, Denton, NC
- #116 – Nick Snyder, Marco Island, FL
- #16 – Anthony Nicholson, Bartlett, TN
- #10M – Morgan Turpen, Bartlett, TN
- #121 – Kris Davis, Burbank, OH
- #47 – Eric Riggins Jr., Charlotte, NC
- #12H – Kent Wolters, Tipp City, OH
- #28H – Matt Hope, York, SC
- #51 – Jay Dunham, Grovetown, GA
- #29 – Kyle Amerson, Montgomery, AL (DNS)
- #33 – Joe Larkin, Suwanee, GA (DNS)
Audio with race winner Michael Miller:
Audio with runner-up Collin Cabre:
Audio with 3rd-place Terry Witherspoon:
Audio with 5th-place Jeff Willingham:
USCS Sprint Car Series Race Awards:
Hoosier Tire Speed Dash: #10M – Morgan Turpen
Engler Machine and Tool First Heat: #28 – Jeff Willingham
Butlerbuilt Second Heat: #4M – Michael Miller
K&N Filters Pole Award: #12C – Collin Cabre
JE Pistons Top Guns Award: #10 – Terry Gray (4th place)
K&N Filters Podium (3rd place) Award: #43 – Terry Witherspoon
Wilwood Disc Brakes Hard Charger Award: #10 – Terry Gray
Keizer Aluminum Wheels Top Five Award: #28 – Jeff Willingham
Saldana Racing Products Super Sixth Award: #21B – Brandon McLain
Pyrotect Racing Cells Lucky Seven Award: #0X – Clint Weiss
DMI/Bulldog Rear Ends Top Ten Award: #116 – Nick Snyder