NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

The Sports Report: Is it Miller’s time? Just maybe.

Brandon Miller is paying his dues in Pro Stock this season, but he’s also a leading contender for the Top Sportsman title with his six-second Chevy S-10 truck.
03 Oct 2023
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Brandon Miller

When it comes to Pro Stock, Brandon Miller readily admits he’s still in the early learning stages of his career, but when it comes to the Right Trailers Top Sportsman class, that’s a different story.

Behind the wheel of his six-second Chevy S-10, Miller has been a beast in the Top Sportsman class, and following his most recent win last week at the Division 1 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Virginia Motorsports Park, he’s now a leading contender for the world championship.

“I think I’m the leader right now, but honestly, I try not to look at it too much,” said Miller, who recently celebrated his 20th birthday. He also races alongside his parents, Dave and Becki, and works in the family auto body business in Plainfield, Conn. “I guess I have a decent shot, but I can still get beat. Mike Moorhead and Bryan Warr are still in contention, and I’m sure there are a few others. It’s definitely not over until it’s over. We’re just going to wait and see how it all plays out.”

After winning the Division 1 title last year, Miller got off to a hot start in 2023 with wins in his first three events, including the Division 1 Lucas Oil Series races at Cecil County Dragway and Maple Grove Raceway, and a national event win at the four-wide event in Charlotte. Even then, Miller wasn’t about to get too caught up in the championship battle.

“After I won a few races, I might have given it a thought, but I really hate chasing championships. It’s too stressful,” Miller joked. “In the end, it makes it worthwhile if you win it, but it can also take a lot out of you.”

Miller’s truck was built by his father, Dave, more than a decade ago, and it features a 743-cid big-block engine, which is good for consistent 6.8s at more than 200 mph. Most Top Sportsman racers use some sort of a power adder, but Miller prefers to go the naturally aspirated route.

Ironically, should Miller hang on and win the championship, it would mark the second straight year that the title has been won in an S-10 pick-up truck as reigning champ Lance Abbott drives a similar vehicle.

“It’s a good truck,” Miller said. “It’s not the best vehicle as far as aerodynamics are concerned; I’m sure I’d run quicker with a car, but it’s pretty consistent."

While Miller has enjoyed an exceptional season in his Top Sportsman truck, he’s also made progress behind the wheel of his Dodge Dart Pro Stock car, including a career-best 6.654 in Charlotte. As much as he’d like to think the additional seat time is a benefit in both classes, Miller isn’t totally convinced that’s the case, although he admits the Pro Stock car is a lot of fun to drive.

“It’s harder to drive the Pro Stock car, and the Truck is harder to race, if that makes any sense,” Miller said. “They are both very technical. Shifting the Pro Stock car on time takes a lot of practice, but the same goes for driving the finish line with the truck. We’re a small team; it’s mostly just our family, so things can get a bit hectic at times.

“As for the Pro Stock car, we’re hoping to do more events next year,” Miller said. “I’d like to do five or six at least, but we’re self-funded, and we’d need some help in order to do many more. We do have a lot of fun with it, though.”

While the Pro Stock car is very much a part of Miller’s future, he’s currently focusing on his pursuit of the Top Sportsman title with an eye towards next week’s Texas NHRA FallNationals in Dallas, an event that should feature most of the leading contenders for the title. Miller will also be the Division 1 representative for the JEGS Allstars event.

“Right now, we’re going to Dallas with the Top Sportsman car and our Top Dragster,” said Miller. “Then, we could go out west to Las Vegas or maybe Rockingham [Division 2 Lucas Oil race] the following week. We’ll see what happens in Dallas, but I do have one more divisional left to claim. I’m not counting anything yet, but we definitely have a chance, and that’s all you can ask for.”