12/07/2016 4:59PM

Harness: Hannah Miller named Amateur Driver of the Year

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Geri Schwarz
Hannah Miller has won 31 races this year.

She’s known to her fans as “Hurricane Hannah” Miller because again this year she has taken amateur racing by storm. For the dedicated 24-year-old miss it marks the second consecutive season that she has earned the honor of being named the National Amateur Driver of the Year.

And it’s no surprise that Miller has the right to claim the title again. Just look at her accomplishments this past season as from 109 trips to the post she won 31 races, had 20 seconds and 11 thirds for a whopping .420 UDR.

Along the way Miller danced every dance as a member of multiple amateur organizations witnessed by her 109 trips to post, far and away more than any of her counterparts.

She won the combined points title for the second consecutive season in the granddaddy of them all, the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series, and she won the points title in the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club Series last summer. She’s traveled and won two races in two starts at Mohawk in Canada and recently romped home a winner in the $25,000 Billings Series final at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Nov. 20.

And when you factor in that she finished a very close second in the World Cup of Amateur racing last fall in Budapest, Hungary, losing top honors by just one point against some of the world’s best amateur drivers, it speaks volumes in itself, especially since hers was the best performance ever by a U.S. representative in the prestigious international event.

“I am thrilled to be named the National Amateur Driver of the Year and there are a lot of people that have helped me earn this award and I can't thank them enough,” Miller said via e-mail. “They include Nick (Surick), who has put so much time and effort into helping me with all my amateur endeavors, and all of the trainers and owners that have given me the opportunity to drive for them. And of course my family, who continuously provides support for me on and off the track.”

For the record Hannah’s dad is the outstanding trainer Erv Miller, who is fourth all-time in training victories, and her brother Marcus is a rising star in the sport as a driver.

Miller's spectacular performance this past fall in the prestigious World Cup of Amateur Racing was an unexpected pleasure for the USA. She battled respected international amateurs from 12 different countries in Budapest and produced the best results ever by an American participant.

“The World Cup was a trip of a lifetime and although I would have liked to have won it, I was honored just to be able to go and represent our country,” she said.

A rather innocuous comment for someone who won two races and was the points leader until the final contest, where the Italian representative finished just one point better than her total.

“Still I’m proud that I did well, although I would have loved to won it,” she explained.

Miller has put a degree in business from the University of Central Florida on hold for now while she drives in the amateur races.

“I’m going to use the degree eventually, but right now I’m just having fun driving,” she said.

(By John Manzi for USHWA)