Miller Vinatieri Motorsports Drivers are in the thick of the Action at Homestead
Miller Vinatieri (MVM) Motorsports drivers topped the standings after practice, led several laps, and brought home one top-five and two other top-six finishes in the first event of the season for the F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.
Jack William Miller’s move from karts to race cars was memorable, as the MVL rookie led two laps and went home to Westfield, Ind., on Monday with a fifth- and a sixth-place finish for his first weekend of competition ever in a formula car.
The way he got those two excellent finishes was perhaps most impressive. He started 18th before finishing fifth on Saturday, and he came up from 22nd place to finish sixth on Sunday afternoon. Although two of the three races ended under yellow, the sixth-place finish was hard-fought right to the finish line, as the seventh-place finisher was only 0.033 behind Miller’s #40 sponsored by Indy Dental Group.
Miller started fourth in the second race, which was postponed from Sunday morning until early Sunday afternoon due to rain, but he led for two laps to record his first laps-led in the series in only his second race. His car moved during the standing start, however, so he received a drive-through penalty.
The tripleheader attracted 33 entries, four of which were fielded by MVL Motorsports.
Baltazar Leguizamón of Buenos Aires, Argentina topped the series’ first official standings issued in the new season when he set a sizzling time of 1:23.542 (96.095 miles per hour) for the 2.27-mile, 10-turn road course in the single practice session Saturday morning. That was 0.517 faster than the fastest time set during qualifications about two hours later. Leguizamón went on finish sixth in the first of three 30-minute races later Saturday afternoon with his Motorola-sponsored car.
Lawson Nagel of Fort Worth, Texas, who like Miller was making his first F4 starts, ended the weekend in a rousing way by coming from 28th to 14th in Sunday’s finale.
Alan Miller, Jack William’s uncle, had two rough trips but he improved his starting position by five places in the first race with his #65. AMD Lasers sponsor the Newport Beach, Calif.-based driver’s car.
With the first event complete, the team is looking forward to one of the highlights of the year when the series competes on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway June 8-11 in conjunction with a Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) event.
Post-event quotes follow:
Jack William Miller: “I’m happy with the results we had at Homestead, but I’m disappointed that the car moved on the standing start for the second race. I know we have a great car, and we’ll be on the podium soon.”
Baltazar Leguizamón: “My results didn’t show the pace we had during practice; we had some bad luck during the races. It wasn’t the results we were looking for, but we look forward to Indy.”
Lawson Nagel: “Overall my opening weekend in the car was a good learning experience. The first race didn’t start off great, as I backed into the wall a few laps in. The second race was a little better. I was moving up in the field until I was taken out in Turn 3 by another driver. My final race was the best of the weekend. I started 28th and got to 14th, and ran within half a second of the leaders.”
Alan Miller: “I’m very happy with my results from the first race. I got hit from behind in the second race, which damaged my gearbox and ultimately caused me not to finish the third race.”
Dr. Jack Miller (team owner): “I’m extremely proud of the entire team. I want to thank Mitch Davis for his hard work in organizing and running such a good group of people. I’m also extremely proud of all four drivers for doing so well despite the stiff competition and the challenges we faced. We’re looking forward to our home race at Indy, and the rest of the season.”