FUZI: Matt Miller’s Dream Has Become Reality
When he was a young boy from Toledo, Ohio, Matt Miller always wanted to be a race-car driver. Now, grown up, his childhood dream is reality.
Miller has never had trouble finding his way to victory lane in his No. 7 dirt late model. His smooth and clean style allow him to quietly move his way through the field on a hometown track Saturday night or during a national event.
The 2005 Dirt Late Model Dream 100 and 2007 Jackson 100 winner grew up with the hum of a race engine.
“I started racing quarter midgets when I was 5 years old, which is where I crafted my skills, both good and bad,” Miller said. “I took a break from racing as I grew older to play school sports, but when I graduated high school, we started running a late model at Oakshade Raceway (Wauseon, Ohio) and somehow ended up here.
“I just never really wanted to do anything else. It’s a lot of work, more than people realize, but it’s a lot better than a lot of other things I could be doing. It’s really great to be able to do what you love to do for a living.”
Miller has made his presence known throughout the Midwest, picking up track championships at Oakshade Raceway and Eldora Speedway, as well as capturing wins in the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series.
This season, the Miller crew has stayed a little closer to home, due mostly in part to some major changes for the No. 7 team.
“This year is a rebuilding year for us,” Miller explained. “In 2009, we drove for two different teams. Now, we are doing it on our own and with McCullough Motorsports, and we’ve got a lot going on between building a new car and moving into a different shop. We are focused when we are at the track, but we truly are looking at 2010 as a year of building and growing with the possibility of competing once again with the Lucas Oil Late Model series in 2011.”
Miller is enthusiastic about the changes the team has made.
“I think I’ve got some of my best years to come and I’ve got some great people working with me between my car owners Stephan and Terri McCullough, and a great crew,” he said.
With a hectic travel schedule, the Millers don’t often get a great deal of free time, but Matt spends every moment he can enjoying his family.
His 17-year-old son, Kyle, is frequently at the race track lending a hand, and when at home Matt and his wife, Sandra, enjoy playing with their 5-year-old son, Nathan, and 3-year-old daughter, Madison.
The recent economic times have made it difficult for tracks and drivers to keep going, and although Miller says he considers himself one of the fortunate ones, the past few years have made him appreciate his career as well as those who help him sustain it even more than before.
“I really appreciate the fans coming out,” Miller said. “I know that it’s tough these days with the economy and not just on us racers. So when they spend their money to come out and watch us, we appreciate it and just hope that we can put on a good show and give them their money’s worth.”