Mike Miller ~ 2016 Nostalgia Hot Rod Series ~ Top Gas Champion
The Top Gas class in the Nostalgia Hot Rod Series is for vehicles 1985 and older that run 7.00 – 11.99. The 1st race of the season was held on April 23rd for the Bi-Mart 14th Annual Tulip Festival where eliminations were halted during the semi-final round, which left four racers tied for the lead: John Floyd Sr, Danny Wargnier, Tony Schroeder, and Mike Miller. The 2nd event scheduled for May 14th was not completed due to inclement weather.
The NAPA Auto Parts/Bi-mart 40th Annual Oldies But Goodies held on June 26th, showcased Debbie Dawson and Mike Miller in the finals. To get there, Dawson defeated Gabe Higgs, Brad Swinford, Gary Wargnier and Ron Pappel. On the other side of the ladder, Miller had a single 1st round, and defeated Al Lyda, Al Salchenberg and John Floyd Sr. The finals had one of the better races of the day when Dawson and Miller were separated by a mere .001 on the starting line. Dawson took the win running 9.473 on her 9.47 dial and Miller ran 9.070 on his 9.06 dial. After 3 events, the point standings for the top 4 racers were: Debbie Dawson 160 points, Mike Miller 150 points, Mark Dawson 110 points, and Mark Pracht 100 points.
The next event was held on August 14th at the Wilson’s NAPA Auto Parts/GK Machine Inc/Bi-Mart 28th Annual Hot Rod Nationals where the finals featured Tom Golden and Richard Smith. After a single in 1st round, Golden defeated Justin Hofeldt, Mike Miller and Fred Nicholas while on the other side of the ladder, Smith defeated Danny Wargnier, Gary Palmateer, and Dennis Weddle, then earned a single in round 4. The finals were over before they began when Smith turned on the dreaded red light by -.002, meaning that Golden got the win. Golden ran a 10.767 on his 10.69 dial. With only two events remaining, the point standings for the top 4 racers were: Mike Miller and Debbie Dawson tied for first with 200 points, Mark Dawson and Mark Pracht at 150 and 130 respectively. The last two races were set to be so exciting!
The fifth event of the year was held on September 24th at the Bi-Mart 31st Annual Fall Classic which showcased Mark Dawson and Gary Palmateer in the finals. To get there Dawson defeated Diane Petitt, Don Siegers, Mike Miller and Don Belcher, while Palmateer defeated Adam Tabor, Tyler Dietrich, and a single in round 3, and Fred Nicholas. The finals had another great race of the day when Dawson and Palmateer were only separated by a mere .001 on the starting line. Dawson took the win when he ran 9.498 on his 9.48 dial and Palmateer ran a 10.100 on his 10.08 dial.
The last Top Gas race in the Nostalgia Hot Rod Series was held on October 1st, where it was Mark Pracht who advanced to the final round against Fred Nicholas. Pracht had defeated Mark Dawson and Tony Schroeder (who defeated Debbie Dawson in the 1st round), while Nicholas defeated Mike Miller and had a single in round 2 to meet in the finals. Since Mike Miller, Mark Dawson and Debbie Dawson were eliminated in the first round, Miller’s total was locked in at 280 points, Mark Dawson’s total was locked in at 270, Debbie Dawson’s total was locked in at 260 points, and Mark Pracht had 190 points going into the final round. In the finals, Nicholas had the starting line advantage with a near perfect .001 reaction time to Pracht’s .062 reaction time. Pracht took the win when Nicholas broke out and ran a 10.658 on his 10.68 dial. Pracht ran a 10.180 on his 10.18 dial.
2016 wasn’t an easy win with the top 4 finishers within points of each other for most of the season. With 280 Points and 1 Runner-up finish, the 2016 Top Gas Champion… Mike Miller!!
Top 4 Points Finishers (Driver Name, Hometown and Total Points)
- Mike Miller, Portland, OR, 280 Points
- Mark Dawson, Sutherlin, OR, 270 Points
- Debbie Dawson, Sutherlin, OR, 260 Points
- Mark Pracht, Beaverton, OR, 240 Points