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Golden Isles Speedway

Miller survives, wins $10,000 at Golden Isles

October 15, 2007, 5:12 pm
By Kelley Carlton
O'Reilly Southern All Stars
Matt Miller (carlsonracephotos.com)
Matt Miller (carlsonracephotos.com)

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (Oct. 13) — Ohio driver Matt Miller, serving as a guest driver for Jacksonville, Fla.-based M&M Motorsports, was hot at Golden Isles Speedway. Almost too hot. With his No. 7 burning rear end grease over the 60-lap race's late stages, Miller was able to hang on for an O'Reilly Southern All Star victory worth $10,000.

“We probably couldn’t have made many more laps, Miller said. "I knew something was burning, but I knew I had to try to keep digging. I need to thank Murrell and his whole M&M Transport crew for letting me drive this car here this weekend. We had a lot of fun.”

Miller's first career Southern All Star victory came over fast qualifier Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, FLa., Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., and Casey Roberts of Toccoa Ga.

Pearson and Madden started on the front row, with Madden nosing ahead briefly before Pearson pulled even on the low side through turns one and two. The pair of 44s raced down the back straightaway in a dead heat. As the duo flashed across the line to complete the first lap, Pearson held the advantage. Pearson then took control as he disposed of Madden and firmly took the point as Madden was forced to deal with the charging Moyer and Miller.

As the leaders reached heavy lapped traffic, Miller went to work on Madden in the extreme low groove. Miller pulled alongside Madden in turn two and they ran side-by-side for a lap before Miller edged ahead. Madden tried to rally back on the outside, driving deep into turn three, but Madden he slid high and nearly allowed Moyer to grab third.

As the race neared the halfway point, the battle for the point heated up. Miller had caught Pearson and began pressuring the leader. Miller looked high and then low where he found a groove to his liking. Miller dove to Pearson’s inside in turn one and pulled even. On lap 27, Miller took command. Pearson tried to fight back, but Miller’s mount was strong on the low side and Pearson wasn't as fast up high.

Miller edged away from Pearson as the frontrunners faced more lapped traffic. Madden moved up to challenge Pearson for second after Pearson made light contact with a slower car. Madden drove up to Pearson’s door, but Pearson repelled the charge.

As the laps wound down, the smell of Miller's rear-end grease wafted through the air. But Miller continued to weaver through lapped traffic. A late-race caution gave Pearson and Madden a final shot at Miller, but he pulled away to finish them off.

Notebook

The winning MasterSbilt Race Car is owned by Murrell Mixon and sponsored by M&M Transport. ... The feature got under way about 10:20 p.m. and lasted less than a half hour ...Among drivers failing to qualify for the feature: David Brown, Brian Nuttal and Steven Howard. ... The feature was slowed by just two cautions. ... Mark Vineyard went from 12th to sixth to win the PPM Race Products Hard Charger award.

Golden Isles Speedway

1. Matt Miller, Whitehouse, Ohio
2. Earl Pearson, Jr., Jacksonville, Fla.
3. Chris Madden, Gray Court, S.C.
4. Billy Moyer, Batesville, Ark.
5. Casey Roberts, Toccoa, Ga.
6. Mark Vineyard, Powell, Tenn.
7. Dennis Franklin, Gaffney, S.C.
8. Ivedent Lloyd, Ocala, Fla.
9. Chesley Dixon, Swainsboro, Ga.
10. Tony Knowles, Tyrone, Ga.
11. Bodine Massengill, Jacksonville, Fla.
12. Dion Deason, Greenwood, S.C.
13. Stacy Holmes, Munford, Ala.
14. Dillon Wood, Daytona Beach, Fla.
15. Phillip Pittman, Savannah, Ga.
16. Monk Gulledge, Batesburg, S.C.
17. Larry Perry, Jr., Lake City, Fla.
18. Dale Groves, Jr., Tallahassee, Fla.
19. Brandon Cameron, Jacksonville, Fla.
20. Bo Smith, Hilltonia, Ga.
21. Brent Dixon, Elberton, Ga.
22. Randle Chupp, Troutman, N.C.
23. Scott Neighbors, Fayetteville, N.C.
24. Jimmy Ivester, Toccoa, Ga.
Fast qualifier: Pearson, 15.880 seconds
Heat race winners: Pearson, Madden, Chupp
Consolation winner: Perry
Provisional starters: Iveseter, Groves
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