Roger Miller (GRAND-AM photo)

Roger Miller, driver and son of Utah business icon Larry, dies unexpectedly

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Late, sad news has emerged after the weekend’s GRAND-AM events at Kansas Speedway. Roger Miller, a competitor in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and son of former Utah Jazz owner and businessman Larry H. Miller, died Sunday at age 45.

According to a report by The Salt Lake Tribune, no cause of death was listed and the family issued a brief statement.

“Roger was a gentle soul and he will be missed,” his brother Greg Miller said in the statement.

Roger Miller competed with co-driver Ian James in Continental’s GS class, in a Dempsey Racing-prepared Ford Mustang Boss 302R. The pair finished 11th overall in Saturday’s SFP Grand Prix race at Kansas.

Larry H. Miller died in 2009. A businessman and philanthropist in Utah, he also had an impact on motorsports as he conceived the Miller Motorsports Park permanent road course outside Salt Lake City in Tooele, one of the country’s top road racing facilities. The full track was opened in 2006.

Further information is likely to follow in the coming days.

UPDATE: 11:45 a.m. ET, Monday: Patrick Dempsey, Dempsey Racing team principal, tweeted the following on Monday morning:

 

Verstappen picks illegal Raikkonen pass as favorite F1 2017 overtake

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Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.

Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.

When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.

The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.

“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.

“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.

“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.

“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”

Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.

“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”