After an impressive campaign in 2016, Zack Millman is set to be back behind the wheel of a Midget for the upcoming season.
“We are in the process of putting the car back together and a lot of it is new so were almost having to start over but will use the experience to put together some consistent races,” he told Short Track Musings.
Going into the season, Millman says his “goal is to win”, but notes “being consistently at the front would be just as nice” while keeping the car in one piece. He also added out of all the tracks on the schedule, he’s most looking forward to Sauble Speedway, after last year’s success there and being comfortable with the track.
This past season, Millman had success on both the OSCAAR Midget and Outlaw Midget tour, calling the season “a great learning experience” with having “met a lot of really great people” and having lots of fun along the way.
On the OSCAAR side, Millman was able to come away with a top-five points finish, as well as the co-recipient of the Rookie of the Year Award.
Starting off the season at Flamboro Speedway in May, Millman had a quick spin in practice en route to posting an 11th place finish on the night. Unfortunately, the learning curve didn’t get easier in the pair of events which followed with a 14th at Peterborough Speedway and a 10th at Grand Bend Speedway. However, the rookie didn’t give up as he kept working at getting stronger, and it paid off in the finishes which followed. The return to Flamboro in June resulted in a seventh place finish, followed by another seventh at Sauble Speedway to start July. Looking back on the year, Millman says the June race at Flamboro was his memorable moment as it’s where he got his first top-10 finish.
“It started a string of them,” he said. “It was very exciting.”
After missing an event at Flamboro due to a hand injury, the pair of races which followed went Millman’s way. He piloted the No. 72 Burloak Tool and Die, B&D Steel, Retail Design Group, Budget Exhaust and Automotive, B&B Decals, Burlington Natural Health Centre, Mr. Scott Fletcher & Mr. Steven Cope Midget to a seventh place finish at Peterborough to end off July. The kick off for August worked out well with the third trip to Flamboro Speedway. After finishing fourth and fifth in his pair of heats, Millman started ninth for the 20-lap feature. He immediately began to work his way forward, passing Darryl Anthony on Lap 3 to move up to seventh. He was then able to move up to sixth by Lap 6 after another competitor had a mechanical problem. From there on, he put together 14 more solid laps en route to the checkered flag, finishing sixth for his his season-best finish.
With consistency through the season, Millman was able to become one of the drivers as part of the inaugural Race for the Cup. Unfortunately, the momentum didn’t carry into the final two events to close out the year. He finished 11th at Peterborough Speedway, followed by a scary first lap crash at Flamboro Speedway a week later. Thankfully, aside from a shoulder and rib injury, Millman was okay. Speaking on the injury now, Millman says he’s “all healed up and excited to get the 2017 season rolling”.
Meanwhile on the Outlaw Midget side, running the last two Sunset Speedway dates, Millman showed speed in both events.
Looking back on the year, Millman says, “The biggest thing I learned was to always look ahead both on the track and after each event. You have to learn from your mistakes and not dwell on the previous race.”