Meet the Drivers: Michael Miller
The husband-wife team of Mad Cheshire Racing may be a relatively new squad in the Rally America National Championship scene, but they’re no strangers to loose-surface racing. Michael and Angelica Miller made the switch to stage rally from rallycross in 2017, and have been competing in the Open Light class with their Mitsubishi Galant ever since. Today, we’ll get to meet Michael—stay tuned to meet Angel tomorrow:
What made you want to start rallying?
I've always been interested in rally as far back as I can remember. We specifically got into it after a long stint of rallycross. After racing RX for 5 years, in 2016 we decided to travel to other places and test our skills against other regions. We put 16,000 miles on the truck and trailer that year. On our last drive home on the year, we had started talking about “what's next.” Angel suggested rally. She said, “you’ve likely reached what you can with RX, it’s time to the next step.” Or something like that. We then began our hunt for our chariot.
When was your first event and how did you do?
First actual event was an RX event to shake down the car. I did terrible. I think I got cone killer that day. The car is substantially bigger than the Talon we usually RX and my driving was showing it. First rally was Rally Colorado 2017. We not only got to use our safety gear (fire extinguishers), but also finished (sort of), so it felt like a big win.
When was your first really memorable result—win or podium—and how did you get there?
Finishing Rally Wyoming 2017. We not only got to write our own notes after only doing 1 stage event prior, but we also arrived at final MTC on battery power alone. Our alternator had died on the way to service on Day 2. I swapped in the spare. That lasted two stages. We were sitting at ATC for the last stage and the battery light comes on. Hopped out of the car, verified it looked all proper and then hopped back in. “Welp, i say we get as far into the stage as we can and then as far back on the transit as we can.” Somehow, we managed both. I recently picked up the same battery for the Talon.
Who is your usual co-driver, and when did you two start rallying together?
The wife has been my only co-driver. We have been together from the start. Awww...
What’s your favorite event on the Rally America schedule?
So far, 100 Acre. Fast sweeping roads. The locals are awesome and so is the food. Our transmission broke before the infamous jump, so that was a bummer.
Do you have any pre-event routines?
Tetris. Well, not the game, but the truck. It seems like each time i load it up, I do it differently.
Which other drivers in your class do you respect the most?
I think everyone in rally is great. I've always tried to poke and prod Steve Bis for any useful tips he'll give me. He used to rally a first-gen DSM, so it’s sort of the Galant. I guess you could say I look up to him.