Iowa State Fair Speedway
Back behind the wheel, Miller rules Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa (Aug. 16) – Nine years to the day he last won a Deery Brothers Summer Series feature, Darren Miller of Chadwick, Ill., raced his way back to victory lane in the tour for IMCA Late Models. Miller topped Monday's main event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Speedway, taking the lead away from series points leader Ray Guss Jr. following an early restart and running in front to the end of the 35-lapper.
Guss pulled to within three lengths chasing Miller in lapped traffic, but once clear, Miller pulled away again and took the $2,000 checkers comfortably ahead of the Milan, Ill., driver. Consolation race winner Todd Cooney of Bondurant, Iowa, rallied to finish third while Iowans Tom Darbyshire of Morning Sun and Jeremiah Hurst of Dubuque rounded out the top five.
Series point leader Guss drew the pole for the State Fair feature and led the first circuit. Miller used a lap two restart to his advantage to pass Guss for the point, setting sail after the second and final caution of the contest came out when Kevin Blum got into the wall on lap seven.
Cooney had advanced nine spots and into the top four by midway. Four laps later, Miller was negotiating lapped traffic. Guss made up ground before Miller got through the pack with five laps to go and edged ahead again.
The victory was the third of Miller’s career on the circuit and first since Aug. 16, 2001, when he won the Pepsi USA Nationals at 34 Raceway in West Burlington. He’d run second in his one previous series start this season, on July 28 at Knoxville, Iowa.
Miller, a national touring driver who sold out his own race team last spring, has connected with a team with plans to run occasional IMCA and open-competition events the rest of 2010.
Next up on the Deery schedule is $3,000-to-win Titan Tire and Wheel Shootout at Quincy (Ill.) Raceway on Sept 3, the makeup of a June 13 rainout.
Iowa State Fair race: (1) Darren Miller, (2) Ray Guss Jr., (3) Todd Cooney, (4) Tom Darbyshire, (5) Jeremiah Hurst, (6) Josh Most, (7) Jay Johnson, (8) Jeff Aikey, (9) Terry Neal, (10) T.J. Criss, (11) Darrel DeFrance, (12) Colby Springsteen, (13) Andy Eckrich, (14) Kevin Sather, (15) Craig Jacobs, (16) Tyler Bruening, (17) Boone McLaughlin, (18) Ben Nading, (19) Charlie McKenna, (20) Mark Preston, (21) Sam Halstead, (22) Todd Johnson, (23) Kevin Blum, (24) Jeff Guengerich. Heat race winners: Springsteen, Johnson, Miller, Darbyshire. Consolation winners: Cooney, Nading.