Matt Miller, who has been running just below the radar in the Summer Nationals so far this season, just hit the big time. With his performance in the last two races showing him to be ‘average’, no one suspected that he’d be able to rocket to the front of the pack and take the trophy at the 60-lap event that took place this weekend.
The UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals ‘Birthday Race’ is the biggest event to hit the three-eighths-mile oval at Oakshade Raceway every season. So when Matt Miller took the checkered flag, he also took the $10 000 racing purse. Miller certainly was pleased with his victory, noting that “it all worked out”. But how exactly did it all work out? For most of the race, Miller stayed just behind the race leaders, using knowledge gained on previous races on this track to his advantage. He made sure to take care of his tires and waited for the track surface to black up before making a late move on about the fortieth lap to overtake Jeep VanWormer and take the winner’s trophy. This is not the first time that Miller has raced at Oakshade Raceway. He has won races at the track before and said that he loves racing at Oakshade. Well his past experiences on this track certainly did help him during the UMP DIRTcar Summer Nationals ‘Birthday Race’ this weekend. The 60-lap race was fast and furious and, as was to be expected, things changed in a hurry near the end of the race. VanWormer was the winner of last year’s ‘Birthday Race’, but this year Miller beat the defending champion by quite a wide margin.
Miller was followed over the finish line by Jeep VanWormer, Dennis Erb Jr., Doug Drown, Casey Noonan, Kris Patterson, Jon Henry, Ky Harper, Jason Feger and Zac Davis respectively. Though he started and finished in third place, Dennis Erb also went home smiling. The points scored by his consistent driving helped him to clinch the tour championship for the second time in a row. This enabled Erb to go home with a whopping $25 000 in prize money after claiming the Summer Nationals championship.