50 Greatest Modified Drivers – Ray Miller
He came close many times but could never reach the ultimate goal, a Modified Track Championship. Nonetheless, Ray Miller has nothing to be ashamed of as he had 14 feature wins to his credit at Stafford Motor Speedway. A veteran of both dirt and asphalt at Stafford, Miller successfully meshed a career, which in addition to racing, included a position of Executive at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in East Hartford, Connecticut.
Miller, whose father was a part owner of an Offy Midget during the 1940’s, grew up with racing. After graduation from the University of Bridgeport in 1965, he began his racing career at the now closed Plainville Stadium. After racing there for a year, he joined the dirt ranks at Stafford Motor Speedway.
When Stafford was paved in 1967, Miller made a successful transition from the dirt to the new asphalt. On July 18, 1969 won his first feature driving a Mustang bodied Modified owned by Guy Sweatland. In addition to the Sweatland car, Miller drove the Billy Simons Excavator Special No. 9 and the Mike Greci-Rainbow Farms No. 01. It was in the Greci car that Miller hit full stride.
From the late 1970’s through the mid 1980’s, Miller was a constant threat and has two Ferrara 100 victories to his credit. His biggest career win came at Thompson in 1981 when he won the annual Fall Final 300.
Miller’s last Stafford feather came on August 1, 1986. Shortly after, with increased pressure from his employer, Miller retired from racing. In addition to his wins at Stafford and Thompson, Miller recorded wins in weekly action at Riverside Park. On a national level, Miller also recorded four top ten finishing positions in NASCAR’s National Modified point standings. Recently as part of the ‘Stafford Salutes NASCAR at 50’ program, Ray Miller was voted to be honored as one of the ‘Fifty Greatest Modified Drivers of All-time’ as voted on by the public.
By: Phil Smith