This past weekend the MoparInsiders.com staff had a chance to spend some time with the No. 40 PREFIX Stevens-Miller Racing Dodge Challenger Trans-Am team and its driver Marc Miller, at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and what an exciting weekend it was. Miller’s Dodge Challenger was the fastest in every session and proved to the fastest on race day when he beat out 21 other cars in route to his first win of the season at the “Brickyard”.
Miller started on the pole for the 100-mile, 42-lap TA2 feature on Sunday and quickly pulled away from defending TA2 champion Rafa Matos in his No. 88 3Dimensional Service Group Chevrolet Camaro, as well as the No. 92 SLR/Fields Racing Chervolet Camaro of Scott Lagasse Jr. as well as his Stevens-Miller Racing teammate Dillion Machavern, and his No. 77 Liqui-Moly PREFIX Ford Mustang.
“It all started in the shop,” Miller said. “These guys unloaded the trailer exactly how we talked about it. The car was good on the first lap and good on the last lap. I said before I got here that I wanted a car that was good on a one-lap run and good after 30 laps, and that’s exactly what I got. Dillon is wily. He’s a fast kid. I was worried on the restart. I thought he would have something at the end because we were both saving tires. It wasn’t until the third lap of the run that I finally relaxed and thought I got this.
Miller’s Dodge Challenger continued to dominate throughout the race, pulling to nearly an 18-second lead. This lead to an intense battle for the 2nd and 3rd position, with Matos and Lagasse Jr., having to retire early, both with mechanical issues. It seems that no one could match Miller’s Challenger’s performance.
With six laps to go, Keith Prociuk in his No. 9 HP Tuners Chevrolet Camaro and Curt Vogt Cobra Automotive Ford Mustang made contact into Turn 2 and bringing out the only full-course caution of the day. This put Machavern right behind Miller at the restart and eliminating the huge lead the No. 40 PREFIX Dodge Challenger had on the rest of the field.
When the race returned to green flag racing, Miller got a great jump on the restart and was able to hold off Machavern on his way to the checkered flag.
“The No. 77 Liqui-Moly PREFIX Ford Mustang started to come together there at the end, but by that time Marc had such a large lead I couldn’t do anything about it,” said Machavern. “We saved some tires and brakes for the end of the race and I’m glad we did. The restart gave us a chance to get back in the race but Marc was just dialed in this weekend.”
The win extends Miller’s point lead going into the next race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where the Trans-Am by Pirelli series will join the NASCAR Xfinity Series next weekend, August 8th through the 10th.
Even though the Dodge factory support has moved away from road racing and more towards the drag racing end, the weekend showed us that the PREFIX No. 40 team has no problem showing the rest of the road racing world that the Dodge brand continues to dominate the race track, whether it be a drag strip or road course.