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05132017 millertsrPhotos Ian Tocher

On May 7, 1990, Ray and Chris Miller gave birth to their son, Ray III. Little did the young child realize then what a birthday present he’d receive as he became victorious in the Super Gas class at the 2017 Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals outside of Atlanta.

It was right around the date of his birth that his father started Miller Race Cars which has blossomed into one the leading manufacturers for dragsters in the country.

“I started racing just about the time I got my driver’s license at 16,” says Ray III. I ran a couple of Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional wins in order to get enough grade points to run a national event and I think my first national was when I turned 18.”

Having been around the sport ever since he was born, Ray III learned quite a lot from his father. “He was a good teacher and did well in his own racing, in fact having won at the Carolina Nationals last year for his first NHRA Wally, but he was more into the business side of things.”

Now having earned his sixth Wally, he says, “We basically work to race and that actually helps our business.”

Like he does at most every other race, Miller competes in Super Comp as well, having made it to the final four in that class, missing the opportunity to become only the 23rd person to double-up at a national event. “In my dragster that round,” Miller said, “I was .016 on the ‘tree but Tony Helms was .005 and dead-on with a zero so he didn’t leave me a whole lot of room.”

Fortunately in the Super Gas semifinals, Miller defeated Rusty Cook and then had to face recent runner-up at the Gatornational, David Tatum. When Tatum turned on the red-light in the final, it took the pressure off of Miller who slowed to a ten-second run in order to enjoy the moment.

“A big thanks goes out to my Mom and Dad for all the sacrifices they’ve made to allow me to race,” he says. “I also have to thank my sister Cathy who lives near Atlanta and came out to the race. And naturally, thanks go out to everyone at Miller Race Cars, PAR Racing Engines, Abruzzi Transmissions, Gary Stinnett, Strange Engineering, Mickey Thompson Tires, Penske Shocks, Moser Engineering, K&R and Todd’s Extreme Paint.”

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