Gavin Miller led the final 16 laps to earn his first career national midget feature victory in the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget Series’ feature at Bloomington Speedway Friday in round five of Indiana Midget Week.
The victory is the third for a Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) Toyota this week and the seventh for a Toyota-powered driver in USAC competition this season.
Miller started the event from the outside of row one with teammate Jade Avedisian on the pole. It was Avedisian who would dominate the early going as she went straight to the lead and pulled out to a 1.5-second lead in the first 10 laps with Miller running second and Ryan Timms running third in an all KKM top three through the first third of the 30-lap feature.
A caution flag would wave on lap 15 to bunch the field and Miller would take advantage by sliding Avedisian through turn two on the restart to take the lead. As Miller went low, Avedisian would jump over the cushion and drop down to eighth.
Miller would maintain the lead running the top side and stretched his lead over second-place Justin Grant to 1.273-seconds before another caution would bunch the field on lap 22. On the restart, Grant would stick right with Miller. As the top side started to go away late, the 16-year-old Miller made the choice to move to the low side and it proved to be a winning decision as he was able to hold off Grant by 0.372-seconds at the checker flag.
Miller’s win comes four days after he appeared to be headed to victory at Circle City, only to catch the cushion, causing him to flip after leading the first 13 laps. The Allentown, Pennsylvania native had earned a pair of runner-up finishes in Xtreme Outlaw Midgets earlier in the year
Joining Miller and Grant in the top 10 were fellow Toyota pilots Cannon McIntosh in fifth, Timms in sixth, Bryant Wiedeman was seventh and Avedisian placed tenth.
The 2023 Indiana Midget Week schedule will close out with races at Lawrenceburg Speedway on Saturday and Kokomo Speedway on Sunday.
Gavin Miller, Keith Kunz Motorsports: “I knew I needed to be smarter on the long runs because there are so many good drivers waiting if you make a mistake. The car was good. and the track was really good tonight. I saw the top side going away, so I decided to roll the bottom and it felt pretty good down there. This is unbelievable. We’ve been wanting to win so bad, and we finally got it done.”
Justin Grant, RMS Racing: “It was slick tonight. We may have lost a cylinder, but it really didn’t matter much. If Gavin had kept running the top, we may still have been able to win. Our car was a rocket ship tonight. Thanks for everyone on our team and all our sponsors. I’m just happy to be at Midget Week and look forward to getting to Lawrenceburg.”
Toyota Racing PR