Photo: Chris Owens/ASP, Inc.

Miller’s Tire Barrier Slam Marks Third Straight Red Flag in Xfinity

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

Wet conditions played a huge role on Vinnie Miller’s afternoon as he slammed the tire barriers in Turn 1 with six laps left in Stage 2 in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International in New York, resulting a red flag.

Running by himself in 29th after rolling off 40th, Miller was making his first road course start when his No. 01 JD Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro locked up and slid into the barriers to bring out the fourth full-course caution of the afternoon.

Before arriving to Watkins Glen, the 20-year-old went to the Bob Bondurant Racing School in Phoenix, Arizona to learn more about making corners on road courses. He ran only a single lap in the wets in Friday’s practice, and had hoped to survive the afternoon, with a goal of scoring a top-25 finish, but wasn’t able to complete the 82-lap contest.

After the hard impact, Miller reported over the radio that he barely was on the breaks, but all four of his tires locked up, ending his afternoon in 35th.

Miller got out of his car under his own power, and was checked and released from the infield care center.

The damaged tire barriers brought out the red flag. It marked the third consecutive Xfinity Series race to be halted, and the fourth out of the last five races.

Two weeks ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Jeremy Clements hit the sand barriers at pit entry on Lap 168, requiring cleanup that lasted 7 minutes and 30 seconds.

Last Saturday at Iowa Speedway, a hard two-car crash during the first overtime involved Matt Tifft and Max Tullman in Turn 1 on Lap 251, brought out the red flag for 17 minutes and 16 seconds. Tifft was collected in a two-car crash with Justin Haley in the esses on Lap 27, just minutes before the pouring rain arrived at The Glen.

Saturday’s repairs lasted 10 minutes and 24 seconds, but for Miller, who currently sits 24th in points with a best finish of 17th at Talladega in May, it marked his fourth retirement this season.

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. Over the years, Luis has focused on writing, video and photography ranging from Idaho athletics to auto racing with ambitions of having his work recognized.