‘Miller OK to race — crew fined’
August 28, 2002
On the night of Aug. 17 at Champion Speedway, officials noticed sportsman driver Virgil Miller was running antifreeze in his car. Though it is not specifically noted in the rules for the sportsman or hobby stock classes allowing them to run antifreeze in their motors, it is generally known among the racing community not to run the fluid.
Officials have stated in the past, if a rule is not clear for their specific division, the driver or crew is to ask (for verification).
“If it’s not printed, it doesn’t mean it’s allowed,” said Tom Nodzak in a drivers meeting prior to the season opening at Champion Speedway.
“If you’re not sure, ask.”
Miller, who was in a tight points battle for the championship in the sportsman division, was stripped of all earned points on the night of Aug. 17. He was instructed to leave the pits and would be informed of any possible disciplinary action.
“After the heat, we were asked (by track officials) if we were running antifreeze,” said Miller.
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“I said ‘Yes, we were.’ We’d been running it all year long. It’s not in the rules you can’t.
“Jim Crews (track official) said we obviously weren’t paying attention to the rules and at the drivers meetings. I’ve been there all year long — I want the championship and I’ve been to all the drivers meetings — nothing has been said about running antifreeze.
“When we argued the point, that’s when he threw us out. He told us to load the car on the trailer and get out.”
Miller said he just happened to be running a video camera in his racecar that night. He wanted to play around with it and see what they could get.
“We got Jim on tape telling us to get out of the pits,” said Miller. “He was pretty rude.”
According to General Manager Kris Martin, Miller was given a warning about the antifreeze and told not to run it again. Martin also said Miller would not be stripped of any points earned on Aug. 17. His crew was fined an undisclosed amount for their actions.
“What got us so upset is the fact we’re showing them (officials) what rules have and have not been enforced,” said Miller. “And it’s been happening all year long. So when they don’t enforce other rules, and all of a sudden they enforce a rule that’s in the late model series and not listed in ours or the hobby stocks, it’s wrong.”
Miller, after missing two main event races and respective points, has fallen to fourth place in the standings with 419 points. Gary Nevers is in first with 502; Joel Worley in second with 451 and Thom Eldridge with 428 is in third.