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Mike Miller Takes ASA ACDelco Challenge Series LaCrosse 300

28 July 1997

West Salem, WI - Lapped traffic with less than ten laps remaining in Sunday's American Speed Association, ACDelco Challenge Series LaCrosse 300 handed Mike Miller the win and left Rick Beebe heartbroken.

Beebe was attempting to pass a slower car, when the two got together causing Beebe to spin out and allowed Miller to pull away and take the win.

"I feel so bad for Rick (Beebe)," Miller said as he climbed out of his Pontiac. "I would have been happy with a second place if Rick had won. Junior (Hanley) should have given Rick the the line. Rick knew I was right there, whatever line he took, I was was going to take the opposite line. I'm happy with the win, I've lost some like that before. We pitted for right side tires and the car got loose. The second time we changed left side tires and the car got real tight. On the last pit stop we changed the stagger and the car was good enough at the end."

Beebe, in the St Louis Gear/Royal Machine Pontiac started from the pole position and led three different times during the 300 lap event around the LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway and appeared poised for his first career win.

Following a final round of pit stops for most of the leaders, Beebe retook the lead from Gary St Amant on lap 230 and began to open a lead over St Amant, who was being chased by Steve Carlson and Tim Sauter. Mike Miller in the Uniseal/Old Style/Hemstock Pontiac was running sixth at the time, but was on the charge.

With 50 laps remaining, Beebe had built up a four second lead as Miller moved into second spot with St Amant in third and Sauter and Carlson, the top two Pat Schauer Rookie of the Year contenders, rounding out the top five.

As Beebe encountered lapped traffic, Miller began to cut into the lead, and with 15 laps to go the margin was 1.2 seconds. Miller closed to the rear bumper of Beebe with 10 laps to go, as the two front runners closed on the lapped car of Junior Hanley.

As the two leaders looked for a way around Hanley, Miller tried several times to get inside Beebe, but was unable to make the pass stick.

With three laps remaining, Beebe got inside of Hanley coming off the fourth corner, while Miller waited to see the outcome of the passing attempt. As Beebe and Hanley exited the corner, Hanley drifted low and made contact with Beebe causing him to spin down the front straight and come to rest against the inside retaining wall as Miller inherited the lead.

On the final restart, all ASA races must finish under green, Miller pulled away from the field for his second win of the year as he beat Scott Hansen to the line by 5.268 seconds. Sauter finished third and Beebe recovered to take the eighth place finishing spot.

For Hansen it was his third consecutive podium finish for the Ken Schrader Racing Chevrolet, and he has moved into third place in the season long ASA points chase.

I was fortunate to finish second," Hansen said after the race. "Our car was a little off in the middle stages of the race, but on the last pit stop the crew did a great job in making an adjustment."

Sauter, in the Leo's Motorsports/Wehr's Chevrolet scored his career best finish after starting and finishing in third.

"The car was really tight and developed a push," Sauter commented. "When I had to go to the high side it developed a push in the corners. We had good pit stops and a car good enough to win. Since we went to this new car five races ago we have been more competitive."

A visibly disappointed Beebe said that Hanley is always tough to pass, whether it be for position or he is a lap down.

"He (Hanley) won't move out of the line," Beebe said. "He kept driving in the middle of the track and twice motioned me to the outside and then drifted high. I got under him clean coming off the fourth corner and he turned into me. I think I could have held Mike (Miller) off at the end, we were about equal. I feel worse for the crew than I do for myself because they gave me a great car today."

ACDelco Challenge Series points leader Kevin Cywinski was awarded the WYNN'S WYNNING MOVE for driving to a sixth place finish after starting fourth and having to make an early put stop to replace a loose plug wire.

Miller averaged 77.878 mph in a race that featured 14 lead changes among nine different drivers. The race was slowed by 10 cautions for a total of 48 laps.

The American Speed Association, ACDelco Challenge Series now moves on to Berlin Raceway in Marne, MI for the August 9th running of the Michigan 300.

John Kaiser -- The Autochannel

LaCrosse Fairgrounds  - Provisional results for the 
ASA ACDelco Challenge Series, 
LaCrosse 300:
Ps.Ql.No.  Driver , Car                                          Laps  
-- -- ---- ----------------------------------------------------- ----- 
 1 10  18  Mike Miller     South East Air Service           PONT 300       
 2  5  52  Scott Hansen    AFCO Racing Products             PONT 300       
 3  3  55  Tim Sauter (R)  Leo M/S/Wehr/Racing Adventures   PONT 300       
 4  8   6  Dave Sensiba    Engineered Polymer/W MI Auto AuctPONT 300       
 5 14  87  Steve Carlson(R)Baker Enterprises/Clean Burn     PONT 300       
 6  4   1  Kevin Cywinski  Coleman Racing Products          PONT 300       
 7  2   7  Gary St Amant   Wynn's/W Michigan Chevy Dealers  CHEV 300       
 8  1  23  Rick Beebe      St Louis Gear/Royal Machine      PONT 300       
 9 11  32  Ted Smokstad    Corp. Auto/SMS Parts             PONT 299       
10 16  07  Jack Landis     Adirondak/Lyndaker/Maisto/N.YoderFORD 299       
11 20  51  Brandon Sperling Sperling Motorsports            CHEV 299       
12 18  72  Junior Hanley   Skillman Motorsports             PONT 299       
13  6  33  Brad Loney      Bunsaver/Hunter's Spec/Flexsteel PONT 299       
14 26  03  Johnny Spaw     Mid-West Plumbing/Clemnet TrailerPONT 298       
15 27  47  Paul Paine      Paine Racing                     PONT 298       
16 21  26  Bill Baird      Spee-Dee Pop Popcorn/Saturn Mach CHEV 297       
17 29  95  Chuck Hemmingston Rodeway Inn                    PONT 297       
18 19  21  Kevin Nuttleman Citgo/Midwest Fuels/Dutch Mill   PONT 296       
19 17  88  Mike Eddy       GM Goodwrench Service/HRE        PONT 294       
20 23  79  Mike Cofer (R)  Black & Decker Versa Pack        PONT 293       
21 24  58  Billy Turner    Sanifill/Central Fiber           PONT 271       
22 13  48  Joe Nott        Valvoline/Allan Nott Toyota/RaabeFORD 270       
23 25  09  Andy Burgess    Custom Craft Counter Tops/MenardsFORD 252       
24  7  84  Bob Senneker    Lane Auto/JR Automation/Mr GasketFORD 243       
25  9  81  Harold Fair     Car Quest/ACDelco/Victor Reinz   PONT 235       
26 15   8  Mike Garvey     AFCO Racing Products             PONT 214       
27 28  19  Justin Diercks  Diercks LTD/Dr A. Diercks/TC Fab FORD 118       
28 22   0  Tom Jones       Jones Motorsports                PONT 113       
29 31  64  Ricky Bilderback Bilderback Auto Parts           PONT  76       
30 32  11  Doug Mayr(R)    No Touch Car Care/Aqua Splash    CHEV  32       
31 12   5  Steve Holzhausen Structural Transport            FORD  25       
32 30  99  Joe Shear       Rander Car/Menards/Wegner        FORD   0       
(R)= Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie Candidate
Time of Race      : 2 hrs 5 min 58 sec
Average Speed     : 77.878 mph
Margin of Victory : 5.268 secs
Lap Leaders       : Beebe, Sauter, St Amant, Hansen, Miller, Sperling,
Hanley, Sensiba, Carlson
Fastest Lap       : M Miller 19.596 sec/100.122 mph
Cautions          : 10 for 48 laps
Track Length      :  0.5000 Miles

        Top 20 Provisional point standings after 11 of 20 events for the
ASA ACDelco Challenge Series.

1.  Kevin Cywinski              1984
2.  Gary St Amant               1760    (-224)
3.  Scott Hansen                1681    (-303)
4.  Rick Beebe                  1635    (-349)
5.  Dave Sensiba                1621    (-363)
6.  Steve Carlson               1618    (-366)
7.  Mike Miller                 1589    (-395)
8.  Tim Sauter                  1452    (-532)
9.  Harold Fair                 1432    (-552)
10. Mike Eddy                   1420    (-564)
11. Ted Smokstad                1378    (-606)
12. Joe Nott                    1362    (-622)
13. Bob Senneker                1354    (-630)
14. Brandon Sperling            1339    (-645)
15. Brad Loney                  1288    (-696)
16. Jack Landis                 1281    (-703)
17. Steve Holzhausen            1240    (-744)
18. Junior hanley               1231    (-753)
19. Mike Garvey                 1205    (-779)
20. Bill Baird                  1151    (-833)