As has been reported many places, Miller Motorsports Park will cease operations today, October 31st, 2015.
Miller Motorsports Park opened in 2006 by Larry H. Miller, a Utah businessman and sports car enthusiast. That was also the year I was documenting a race team that was running in what is now known as Pirelli World Challenge. Back then, World Challenge was mostly playing the supporting role to the American Le Mans Series. Where ALMS went, World Challenge tagged along.
Leading up to the first race at MMP, some of the questions and mumblings being talked about from crews of both series were a combination of skepticism and optimism. A new track, with no data, in America? Has anybody tested there yet? Can I buy alcoholic beverages? Wait, where is Utah? Is this place all hype?
Then the week came for the first ALMS/World Challenge race at Miller Motorsports Park. As we drove up to the new facility in the team van, excitement grew. This LOOKED like a GREAT facility on the outside. Walking through the gate, there was a certain electricity in the air. This was a true state of the art facility! Lush green lawns in the spectating areas. Large, multiple, and permanent concession stands. LOTS of garage space with large TVs and bathrooms AND showers. Wait, TVs in the garages?? Everything well illuminated. Nothing felt cramp or an exercise for some senior’s community college engineering project. There was SPACE. And the place was just HUGE.
Entering the media center was no different, everything was nice, everything was new, and there was space to accommodate everyone for a change. No more writers fighting photographers fighting videographers for a seat to do their work.
By the end of that first race weekend, my take of the overall consensus from the various teams was that Miller Motorsports Park REALLY did live up to the hype. It was a world class facility that could handle the all of the world’s sports car racing needs. And all were excited to return in the following years.
Here at Daily Derbi, we owe a debt of gratitude to Miller Motorsports Park. The staff has been gracious enough to allow us cover some of the early events. From the site’s founder, Chad, driving Greg Miller’s Ford GT and covering the early days of “Lap Battles“, to last weekend’s sports car racing event with NASA Utah. This site wouldn’t have grown and expanded without the help of Miller Motorsports Park.