05 March 2013
Oklahoma City, OK (March 5, 2013) – Wendell Miller, founder of Quantum Mechanics Racing Services, was honored as the Sports Car Club of America’s “Mechanic of the Year” at the racing organization’s annual convention, held March 1-3 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A racing veteran with more than 35 years experience as a driver, engineer, entrant and team owner, Miller spent 2012 overseeing Jack Donnellan’s SCCA National Championship campaign that saw the Oklahoma driver finish fourth at the SCCA Runoffs in his #16 Kechi Energy Lola Sports 2000; and campaign a multi-car, race-winning effort in the F2000 and F1600 Championship Series.
The 2012 season for Donnellan and Miller began just after the 2011 SCCA National Championship Runoffs, where a crash during practice at “the kink” heavily damaged the Lola. Donnellan escaped injury in the crash and went on to finish sixth in a borrowed car. His own car, however, would require a complete rebuild – including repairing and reskinning the aluminum monocoque – before it would race again.
The complete re-build during the 2011-12 “off season” included sourcing or fabricating many parts for the out-of-production Lola, in addition to preparing two Van Diemen Hondas for the professional SCCA F1600 Championship Series, and a Van Diemen Zetec for the companion F2000 Championship Series.
Once repairs to the S2000 Lola were completed, it was time for Donnellan to make a late-season charge to qualify for the 2012 Runoffs, including a pair of victories at Motorsports Park Hastings. Once at Road America, an engine failure during pre-Runoffs testing required Miller to build a new engine for qualifying and the race, where Donnellan finished fourth, his career-best Runoffs finish.
“If it was not for Wendell, I would not be able to go racing,” Donnellan said after nominating Miller for the award. “Over the years, Wendell has always made sure my car was ready to go for every session, from practice through qualifying and the race. In addition, as a former championship driver in his own right, he always knows exactly what to say to get me to drive to the best of my ability, and even overcome some of my own natural shortcomings.”
In addition to the SCCA Club Racing program for Donnellan, Miller’s professional racing effort saw Wyatt Gooden compile two race wins, along with 11 podium finishes in 14 races, to claim Rookie of the Year honors and second in the SCCA F2000 Championship Series.
Sixteen-year-old Roberto Lorena made the transition for karting to car racing in a Miller-prepared F1600 Van Diemen Honda, finishing seventh in the final championship standings, and Japanese racer Haru Tanaka made his American racing debut in a second Quantum F1600 entry.
“It’s quite an honor to be recognized by your peers, for an activity you love to do,” Miller said in accepting the SCCA Mechanic of the Year award. “Looking over the list of previous winners, I’m proud, and a bit humbled” to join their ranks.”