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Eldora Speedway

Miller scores repeat at Eldora's Johnny Appleseed

May 28, 2012, 7:00 am
From track reports
Matt Miller steers toward victory at Eldora Speedway. (Jim DenHamer)
Matt Miller steers toward victory at Eldora Speedway. (Jim DenHamer)

ROSSBURG, Ohio (May 27) — Matt Miller made it two in a row on the Sunoco American Late Model Series and two in a row in at Eldora Speedway’s Memorial Day weekend special with Sunday’s victory at the historic half-mile oval.

Miller, fresh off a victory at Ohio’s Oakshade Raceway the previous night, captured Eldora’s Johnny Appleseed Classic by Miller Lite, leading all but one lap for the $2,000 victory. | Slideshow

Steve Casebolt of Richmond, Ind., finished second while Jeep Van Wormer of Pinconning, Mich., was third. Jeff Babcock of Wayne, Ohio, and eighth-starting Scott James of Lawrenceburg, Ind., rounded out the top five. Canadian invader Andrew Reaume started on the pole and led the first lap, but he faded to finish ninth.

Miller, who won last year’s event in his former McCullough Motorsports ride, continued a string of early season success in the No. 3 Rocket Chassis of Rick DeLong, a fellow driver from Whitehouse, Ohio, with an ailing back who gave up the seat to Miller this spring. DeLong joined Miller in victory lane to celebrate the victory that comes two weeks before the $100,000-to-win Dream, a race Miller won in 2005.

Miller started outside the front row, but Reaume shot into the lead at the outset of the 25-lapper. On a lap-two restart, Miller overtook Reaume, who fell back to fourth behind Babcock and Van Wormer. Casebolt then made his big move, going from fifth to second during a one-lap stretch.

Casebolt kept Miller in his sights and took a crack at the lead on lap 16, but Miller maintained his poise and the lead the rest of the way.

Notes: Miller drove the Rick DeLong Racing Rocket Chassis with sponsorship from Corrigan Race Fuels, Hoosier Tire and Port City Racing. ... Miller has 21 career Sunoco ALMS victories, fourth on the all-time list. ... In other divisions, Randy Hannagan won the NRA Sprint Invaders main while Joey Kramer took the modified feature and Barney Craig won the stock car feature. ... Among drivers failing to make the Late Model feature lineup: Devin Shiels, Ky Harper, Casey Noonan, Curtis Roberts, Alan Vochaska and Jerry Bowersock. ... Eldora’s Dream XVIII Week is crowded with activity, starting with June 6’s Feed The Children Prelude to the Dream, a charity all-star event featuring more than 25 driving superstars from NASCAR, Indy Car, NHRA and the World of Outlaws. ... June 8-9’s Dream by Ferris Commercial Mowers caps the week. ... Find tickets and campsites at eldoraspeedway.com.

Johnny Appleseed Classic: (1) Matt Miller, (2) Steve Casebolt, (3) Jeep Van Wormer, (4) Jeff Babcock, (5) Scott James, (6) Frank Heckenast Jr., (7) Jon Henry, (8) Brian Ruhlman, (9) Andrew Reaume, (10) Michael Kloos, (11) Rich Neiser, (12) Mike Spatola, (13) Dusty Moore, (14) Chad Smith, (15) Phil Ausra, (16) Ryan VanderVeen, (17) Bill Lewis, (18) Justin Chance, (19) Brandon Sheppard, (20) Chris Ross, (21) Kevin Mack, (22) Steve Kester. Heat race winners (among 36 cars): Heckenast, Reaume, Van Wormer, Casebolt. Consolation winners: Smith, Moore. Provisional starters: Ausra, VanderVeen.

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