As Tabitha Lohr crossed the finish line, she was half frozen but excited to win her Road Rally race.
The first person Lohr saw after winning the SnoDrift National Rally race in northern Michigan with driver Mark Rookus was her husband Marc Miller, a rare thing in the couple’s racing business. They were in the same place when one of them was victorious.
Most of the time, the Dutch racing couple is in different parts of the country competing in different races.
“Crossing the finish line and looking up and he was standing there smiling at me when I was freezing and everything hurt, it was like I could breathe again. It was a great moment,” Lohr said. “Sharing the experience with him was amazing. Usually he’s not there and I’ll text him or call him to let him know how it went. It’s so different when we’re there. There’s a lot more excitement.”
It was not the only time this happened recently. Lohr was on hand, helping the Miller team during the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race. Miller’s team finished 13th in the 24-hour race, in contention until a mechanical issue proved too difficult to overcome for a podium finish.
“We’ve got a lot going on and there’s a lot of little details. Having Tab there to help with those details and sleeping on the track, things that with a small team, there’s not a lot of staff to do,” Miller. said. “Going to his race was so much fun. I worked on his car and cooked for everyone. We had to take a butane torch to his brakes at one point to defrost them. It was so much fun.”
Miller and Lohr were happy to share those moments, especially since it happens on average once or twice a year. But this time, it happened twice in a matter of weeks and in big events for both of them.
It made the win even sweeter for Lohr.
“The car was the oldest car racing and (Rookus) was the oldest driver racing, which was definitely fun. It was 300 miles in two days,” Lohr said. “Snow is pretty rare in our races, but this event is called Snowdrift for a reason. It was incredibly challenging. It rained before the race and melted things, but then it froze, so it was 10 degrees during the day and it was just a ice rink.”
Lohr said it was a great moment in his career and a great start to the season.
“My first rally was 10 years ago. I’ve done so many events all over the country. Being so close is almost always difficult,” said Lohr. “There were three races in a row where I took fourth place. Rally is such an endurance sport that just finishing is an achievement. But winning is also amazing. It means a lot.”
Miller has competed all over the world, including Daytona, Le Mans and the Detroit Grand Prix.
So he was no stranger to running the 24 Hours of Daytona, a relay race in which he was in his 60th running.
“By the time I got in the car, we were in the top three, and we kept it up until early in the morning. It was cold and wet and hard on cold tires. We were in contention until around 8am and we had a problem with the ignition, but we finished 13th,” Miller said. “We were happy with our performance and overcame a lot of adversity. We were the only Acura NSX in the race, so it meant a lot to have that and do it with a team that I think of as family.”
It was Miller’s first race in months after suffering a torn Achilles tendon.
“I haven’t really driven since August. I worked hard and thanks to my family, friends and therapists, I was able to come back,” he said.
The next time they race (Lohr at the 100 Acre Wood Rally and Miller at the 12 Hours of Sebring), they won’t be together since the races are the same weekend, which is more normal than seeing each other racing.
“At the end of the day, whether the race goes the way you want it to or not, you’re hanging out with the person you want to be with,” Miller said. “You have your good days and bad days, but having her with me when things are going well was very special, but when things are not going well, you have someone to help hold you… It was great that we could be there for each other.” “.