Oct 4, 2001
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Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>In a October 4 press release, Erion Honda's Mark Miller made official what he told many people at VIR – that he is retiring from AMA Pro Racing competition. "I may come back for a one-off deal for fun or fill in for somebody that gets injured, but I'm done," said Miller.<BR><BR>According to the release, 29-year-old Miller considers himself "the luckiest man on the planet to be able to achieve a boyhood dream of being a full-time, paid professional road racer for six years. Additionally, I've been fortunate to have worked in a motorcycle racing community with some of the most incredible and interesting people in the world."<BR><BR>Miller's release continued, "In light of the recent WTC disasters, my final race weekend at VIR will be especially memorable to me not only as my final pro race, but because it was our first pro race back since the attacks of September 11.<BR><BR>"While being lucky enough to put on our show from the east to the west coasts of the United States, we in this racing circus are given a particular and intimate perspective into how special and unique each city and town really is. Then to imagine 6000 people, 6000 fans, vanishing out of their neighborhoods is, simply numbing.<BR><BR>"Last weekend at VIR, us in the paddock and all in the stands were ready to mindfully celebrate life once again, the spirit of competition, and a new sense of community. Pretty cool feeling."<BR><BR>Miller caught the road racing bug while studying aeronautical science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona. With a student credit card, Miller bought his first racebike, a 1986 Honda VFR750 Interceptor, and won his first Novice-class race. The following year, Miller finished with his studies and went racing full-time.<BR><BR>Highlights of Miller's career include placing 6th in the 1996 AMA 750cc Supersport series and 13th, the top privateer, in the Superbike series that same year. In 1997, Miller again finished the AMA 750cc Supersport campaign in 6th in addition to a 19th-place season finish in 600cc Supersport. In 1998, Miller finished third in the AMA Formula Xtreme Championship including one race win at Pikes Peak, finished 4th at the Macau Grand Prix and 10th in the AMA Pro Thunder Championship on a Buell. In 1999, the Arizona native took another fourth at Macau and fourth in the AMA Formula Xtreme Championship while setting class track records at Road Atlanta, Sears Point, Loudon and Laguna Seca. Miller spent 2000 earning 15th in the AMA 600cc Supersport Championship, 7th in the Formula Xtreme Championship and taking third at the Macau GP while setting the fastest lap ever by an American at Macau. Miller finished the 2001 season seventh in the Formula Xtreme Championship.<BR><BR>Miller says that his next short-term project will be to release a home video production called "Superbike Life." The video, which Miller says is "a insider's look at motorcycle road racing", is set for a March 2002 release. In between shoots at VIR, Miller told Roadracing World that his next big goal is to become involved in the production of full-length feature films.<BR><BR>Miller's release ended with thanks to "Bill Syfan, Richard Stanboli, Steve Blakeney, Henry DeGouw, Kevin Erion and Rick Hobbs, Chuck Graves, Jeff Chann, Nick Haymen, Tom Houseworth, Pete and Carol Swetish, Andre Castanos, Tim Lee, Chuck Yu, Mel Blaney, Mom and Dad, Mid-Cities Honda, AMA Pro Racing staff, tire guys, sponsors, Speedvision staff, print/web media, photographers, the fans and especially the beautiful Miss Tammi."<BR>