By Charlie Brown, Delmar, DE (8/20/11) – Milford, Del.’s Jamie Mills sat out most of the season in the NAPA Big Block Modifieds at the Delaware International Speedway following back surgery early in the year. Saturday night the former two time champion appeared to be back in top form as he threaded his way to the front to record his first win of the season.
“I tell you what,” said Mills. “I’ve been a miserable SOB the last year or so. I got back in this race car and I feel like I’ve been born again.”
Brad Trice took the lead from Kenny Brightbill on the first circuit and quickly established himself as the car to beat. H.J. Bunting got by Brightbill for second on lap three but Trice had already built a comfortable lead.
Mills had started back in the eighth spot and was quickly into the top five. As Bunting trimmed down Trice’s lead Mills began to pick off cars in the top five. First he worked by Eric Kormann then by Brightbill by halfway.
The first caution came out at this point when Dave Gerhart came to a stop on the front straight. On the restart some banging resulted in a three car tangle involving Matt Jester, Beau Wilkins and Howard O’Neal. The remainder of the race was all green.
Sensing some urgency to catch the front, Mills stepped up his pace. Bunting was pushing hard to take the lead but made a bobble and Mills shot by for second with ten to go. Trice held off the challenge until five to go when Mills went to the high side in turn two and took the lead down the back straight. Bunting got by Trice for second with two laps to go but could not catch Mills.
Mills took the win with Bunting settling for second. Trice ended a solid run in third with Scott Ambruster, Jr. coming on strong in the final laps for fourth and Brightbill rounded out the top five. Heats for the 21 cars were won by Kormann and Bunting.
NAPA Big Block Modified Finish: 1. Jamie Mills; 2. HJ Bunting; 3. Brad Trice; 4. Scott Amburster Jr; 5. Kenny Brightbill; 6. Eric Kormann; 7. Dale Hawkins; 8. Matt Jester; 9. Robert Dutton; 10. George Richardson; 11. Kyle Fuller; 12. Chris Glanden; 13. Howard ONeal; 14. Scott Van Gorder; 15. Dwayne Heck; 16. Beau Wilkins; 17. Dave Gerhart; 18. Dana Walker; Did Not Start: Michael White; Shawn Ward; Joseph Watson.