Young drag racer finds right combination in time for big race

Four cars and drivers from Kingman went to Speedworld Motorplex in Whitman on March 22 and 23 to compete in the Division 7 junior drag races and 8-year-old Jake Miller turned out to be the one with the right combination that weekend.

Miller, racing in the 8- to 9-year old class, made it all the way to the finals.

"He fought his way through to the final round," Miller's father, Mike Miller, said.

"We ended up runner-up.

In the final he broke out of the (estimated time) bracket by three one-thousandths of a second, so ended up in second place."

Drivers must come as close to their estimated time (ET or index) as possible without going under it in junior drag racing.

Miller was .003 seconds quicker than his ET.

"He was just a hair too fast," Miller said.

"He was running against a slower car.

As Jake ran him down at the other end he ended up running too fast.

Miller knew his son was set to challenge for the title before the finals.

His reaction time from the line was near perfect and the car was performing well.

"In his semi-final round, we set him up for 13.17, he cut a .504 (-second) light, .505 is perfect," Miller said.

"He ran a 13.172, two one thousandths over index."

Chad Weber, 8, of Kingman, also ran well.

"He ended up with a trophy.

He was a semifinalist in the 8-to-9 category," Miller said.

"He got a semi-finals trophy.

"Of the four cars we took down, two came back with beautiful trophies."

Victoria Miller, Jake's 11-year-old sister, and Kyle Glenn, 10, did not have the right combination of luck, timing and skill going that day.

Victoria and Kyle had a lot tougher competition.

There were a lot more cars in their category," Miller said.

"They were eliminated in the first round.

They did a fantastic job of driving.

The kids performed well, it just wasn't their day.

They all performed flawlessly, but luck was a little more on Jake and Chad's side.

"A little luck really helps.

When you put the whole package together the luck part is the icing on the cake."

Miller credited Kermit Glenn with making the youngsters competitive.

Glenn tuned and retuned the cars to keep them in top shape throughout the race day.

"As track conditions change and the weather changes you have to keep adjusting," Miller said.

"Kermit did a great job of tuning the cars up.

All four drivers will be traveling to Palmdale in Southern California this weekend for another Division 7 race.

The following week they will travel to Las Vegas.

"That's pretty much how it will be every weekend from now until November," Miller said.

Jake Miller is in second place overall in the 8-9 year old category in Division 7 South.

Weber is in the top five in the same division.