Miller holds on for 69th victory at Bowman Gray

Chris Fleming, second-place finisher, files a protest because of engine heads

By Tommy Bowman / Journal Reporter

Car 69 registered victory No. 69 last night at Bowman Gray Stadium.

Junior Miller, who moved to Winston-Salem in 1969 and adopted the year as his car number, added to his record number of victories in the stadium's featured Modified Division with a win in the Tucson 100.

"This is one we've been looking for, but we're going to see if we can add a few more," said Miller, a six-time stadium champion.

Miller led all the way, but it wasn't the easiest win of his storied career.

He drew the pole position and took the lead at the start but had to endure seven additional restarts including five double-file restarts as result of a new rule this year before getting the win.

He then had to wait for results of a protest of his car filed by runner-up Chris Fleming. Results of an inspection by NASCAR officials weren't available at press time.

"I like the double-file restarts, but you've got to be up on your game and really be ready every time," Miller said. "If you're in the back, it makes it a whole lot easier to win a race. If you're up front like we were tonight, it makes it a little harder. But you just have to be on your toes and go."

Miller's best finish in five previous starts this season was seventh, and he had to sit out a May 31 race to serve a suspension for wrecking Bobby Hutchens. Miller said that suspension wasn't a big deal. "That's all right," Miller said. "I needed a vacation."

Miller was awaiting resolution of an inspection requested by Fleming of the engine heads on his car after last night's race.

"Junior's a good friend of mine," Fleming said. "But I've spent $60,000 on this car, so I want to make sure he's right."

Miller, who drives a car owned and maintained by Melvin "Puddin'" Swisher, said: "We're right, so I'm not worried."

Miller, who had the preferred inside position on all the restarts, held off all challengers but did have one close call when Mike Herman temporarily got past him on the outside in the 38th lap.

Herman had an advantage on Miller heading down the backstretch, but headed hard into the third turn and spun, enabling Miller to regain the edge.

"The car just got wicked loose on me," said Herman, a spotter for Joe Gibbs Racing who races occasionally at the stadium. "I had him cleared but the car had just been real, real loose in the corner."

Herman said he liked the double-file restart rule for 100-lap races.

"Tonight I did," Herman said. "We had a chance. If I could have pulled off that deal and beat Junior, I might would have picked up some new fans."

Fleming was the biggest beneficiary of the new double-file restart rule, which gives cars back in the pack the option to move to the tougher outside spot if they choose.

Fleming, who started 17th, gained several spots by grabbing the outside position in the 24th lap. He was able to hang close to Miller on the restart, and settle into second place for the remainder of the 100-lap race.

"I'm a gambler," Fleming said. "I had a fast car, but overdrove it in qualifying. This new rule gives you a chance."

Tim Brown finished third and padded his lead in season standings for the Modified Division. Burt Myers, the division's defending champion, lost ground after suffering tire damage and losing laps in an early-race collision. Brown continued his sweep of qualifying victories. Brown, who began the season with a record lap of 12.966 seconds on the quarter-mile track, was the fastest for the seventh straight race with a lap of 13.128 seconds.

Ronnie Clifton and Taylor Branch won 20-lap races for the Sportsman Division. Matt Cotner won a 20-lap Street Stock race, and A.J. Sanders and Chris Allison won 15-lap Stadium Stock races.

Clifton led all the way in the first race and got his first victory of the season. Branch also won for the first time this year. Kenny Bost hung on to the lead in Sportsman standings.

Cotner bumped his way past Ryan Nelson in the 17th lap of the Street Stock race and held off Tim Vaden the rest of the way for his first Bowman Gray Stadium victory. Vaden finished second and took the lead in the season standings.

Modified Division
Tucson 100

Driver (hometown) Money

1. Junior Miller (Danbury) $1,500

2. Chris Fleming (Mount Airy) 880

3. Tim Brown (Cana, Va.) 855

4. Brian Pack (Walkertown) 690

5. Burt Myers (Walnut Cove) 740

6. Brad Robbins (Winston-Salem) 605

7. Jeremy Stoltz (Walkertown) 570

8. Lee Jeffreys (High Point) 535

9. Randy Butner (Pfafftown) 405

10. Alfred Hill (Jonesville) 485

11. Michael Clifton (Walkertown) 380

12. Robert Jeffreys (Winston-Salem) 460

13. Jonathan Brown (Winston-Salem) 340

14. Andrew Durham (Roaring River) 320

15. Bobby Hutchens (Lexington) 400

16. Kevin Powell (Winston-Salem) 380

17. Brody Jones (Statesville) 270

18. Stan Welborn (Germanton) 260

19. Bobby Foley (Winston-Salem) 250

20. Mike Herman (Kannapolis) 245

21. Brent Elliott (Denton) 275

Street Stock Division


20-lap race

Driver (hometown) Money

1. Matt Cotner (Rural Hall) $160

2. Tim Vaden (Kernersville) 110

3. Doug Wall (Pfafftown) 80

4. David Sumner (Trinity) 65

5. Jody Fritts (Winston-Salem) 55

6. Reggie Doub (Germanton) 45

7. Matt Fletcher (Walkertown) 40

8. K.J. Stimpson (Lewisville) 35

9. Ryan Nelson (Winston-Salem) 30

10. Kevin Gilbert (Mocksville) 25

11. Joseph Brown (Winston-Salem) 75

12. Ethan Stoltz (Walkertown) 25

13. Allen Henkel (Trinity) 25

14. Richard Reeves (Cooleemee) 25

15. Daniel Fishel (Greensboro) 25

16. Michael Nichols (Trinity) 25

17. Leon Hutchens (Winston-Salem) 20

18. Adam Snow (Winston-Salem) 20

19. David Conner (Sandy Ridge) 20

20. John McNeal (Winston-Salem) 70

21. Jerry Helms (Winston-Salem) 20

22. Donnie Martin (Wallburg) 20

Sportsman Division


first 20-lap race

Driver (hometown) Money

1. Ronnie Clifton (Walkertown) $355

2. Kyle Edwards (King) 180

3. Robbie Brewer (Winston-Salem) 140

4. Bryant Robertson (Lexington) 110

5. Jim Shoaf (Lexington) 95

6. Derek Stoltz (Walkertown) 85

7. Kenny Bost (Kernersville) 75

8. Scott Hall (Walkertown) 65

9. Tommy Neal (Walkertown) 55

10. Gene Pack (Walkertown) 50

11. Ronnie Barron (Lexington) 45

12. Steven Berrier (Germanton) 40

13. Mike Evans (King) 35

14. Mitch Gales (Lexington) 30

15. Gary Ledbetter (Lexington) 25

16. Taylor Branch (Lewisville) 25

17. Barry Edwards (Pinnacle) 25

18. Chad Brooks (Winston-Salem) 25

19. Michael Adams (Yadkinville) 25

20. Keith McMichael (Belews Creek) 25

21. Justin Collins (Pilot Mountain) 25

22. Daniel Beeson (Kernersville) 25

23. David Adams (Yadkinville) 25

24. Tate Henley (Winston-Salem) 25

Sportsman Division


second 20-lap race

Driver (hometown) Money

1. Taylor Branch (Lewisville) $280

2. Gary Ledbetter (Lexington) 180

3. Mitch Gales (Lexington) 140

4. Tommy Neal (Walkertown) 110

5. Kenny Bost (Kernersville) 95

6. Gene Pack (Walkertown) 85

7. Jim Shoaf (Lexington) 75

8. Ronnie Clifton (Walkertown) 65

9. Scott Hall (Walkertown) 55

10. Derek Stoltz (Walkertown) 50

11. Keith McMichael (Belews Creek) 45

12. David Adams (Yadkinville) 40

13. Robbie Brewer (Winston-Salem) 35

14. Steven Berrier (Germanton) 30

15. Michael Adams (Yadkinville) 25

16. Bryant Robertson (Lexington) 25

17. Ronnie Barron (Lexington) 25

18. Daniel Beeson (Kernersville) 25

19. Mike Evans (King) 25

20. Tate Henley (Winston-Salem) 25

21. Barry Edwards (Pinnacle) 25

22. Kyle Edwards (King) 25

23. Chad Brooks (Winston-Salem) 25

24. Justin Collins (Pilot Mountain) 25

Stadium Stock Division


first 15-lap race

Driver (hometown) Money

1. A.J. Sanders (Mocksville) $105

2. Johnny Burke (Midway) 80

3. Jimmy Absher (Rural Hall) 55

4. Gary Brewer (Germanton) 45

5. A.J. Quakenbush (Winston-Salem) 40

6. Kenny Dixon (Pfafftown) 35

7. Gerald Robertson (Germanton) 30

8. Charlie Curry (Winston-Salem) 30

9. Travis Brewer (Germanton) 30

10. Ken Bridges (King) 25

11. Steven Truell (Midway) 25

12. J.R. Pendleton (Rural Hall) 25

13. Matt Hill (Yadkinville) 25

14. Shaun Cockerham (East Bend) 20

15. Darren Cotner (King) 20

16. Andrew Sanders (Mocksville) 20

17. D.J. Moore (Germanton) 20

18. Jason Keaton (Mocksville) 20

19. Glenn Hamilton (Winston-Salem) 20

20. Kevin L. Neal (Walkertown) 20

21. Adam Baker (Winston-Salem) 20

22. Wayne Hill (Kernersville) 20

Stadium Stock Division


second 15-lap race

Driver (hometown) Money

1. Chris Allison (Mocksville) $105

2. Todd Myers (Winston-Salem) 80

3. Randy McElveen (Winston-Salem) 55

4. Jason Asbury (King) 45

5. Wesley Thompson (Mocksville) 40

6. Phillip Wright (King) 35

7. David Hopkins (Winston-Salem) 30

8. Billy Cameron Jr. (Salisbury) 30

9. Steve Myers (Pfafftown) 30

10. Kevin C. Neal (Danbury) 25

11. William Chilton (Eden) 25

12. Scott Gordon (Clemmons) 25

13. April Myers (Lexington) 25

14. Steve Smith (Kannapolis) 20

15. Ted Mickalowski (Mocksville) 20

16. Nolan Marshall (Tobaccoville) 20

17. Rob Young (Winston-Salem) 20

18. Brandon Keller (Advance) 20

19. V.L. Richardson (Pilot Mountain) 20

20. Kevin Hedgecock (Thomasville) 20

21. Tony Teague (Winston-Salem) 20

22. April Hopkins (Walnut Cove) 20

 

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