Toyota brass informed Ronk that his refusal to participate would validate the contract. It didn’t matter.
Price-Miller admits it was a difficult pill to swallow.
“At the time I was mad but he was my dad and the crew chief,” Price-Miller said. “At the end of the day, we were not ready to go there.”
Still when he received an official letter from Toyota’s Gary Reed, he called it “the crappiest day of my life.”
It was then Price-Miller shifted his career path toward winged sprint car racing.
In 2015, he scored his first winged 410 sprint car victory at Fremont (Ohio) Speedway in mid-April. A week later, he won an All Star Circuit of Champions feature at Ohio’s Wayne County Speedway.
A year later, he raced extensively with MOWA and claimed the series championship. In 2017, he achieved a significant milestone when he won a World of Outlaws feature at Tri-State speedway. That success led to a ride with Destiny Motorsports.
Things just did not click with Destiny Motorsports and after he was let go, he got a chance to race for Bernie Stuebgen.
Underscoring that he still had the touch, Price-Miller drove the Indy Race Parts No. 71 into the field for the Knoxville Nationals. Stuebgen provided his racing home for 2019 and the following year he joined with talented mechanic Philip Dietz who raced with Price-Miller as a satellite team to Jason Johnson Racing.
While everyone just tried to survive the pandemic year, a bit of sunshine came when he secured his second World of Outlaws win at 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa.
The difficulties that came with negotiating the wacky 2020 season paled in comparison to the emotional toll he faced last year.
He had a chance to race multiple events for Hall of Fame owner/mechanic Guy Forbrook. Not ducking what transpired, Price-Miller admitted that there were crashes and the Knoxville Nationals was a big disappointment. While Forbrook was regrouping, Price-Miller bounced around a bit but got a tip that led to a new opportunity.
Spencer Bayston was racing for Sam McGhee Motorsports but let the team know that he would depart at the end of the year.
“They were cool with that but they wanted to get a step ahead and start working with the guy they were going to race with next year,” Price-Miller said. “So they called me and I started with them at the 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora.”
It was a good move for Price-Miller, but soon enough he had other concerns. In February 2019, he began experiencing pain in his ankle but thought little of it, particularly when the discomfort eventually subsided.
“Then July 2019 comes around and I had pain again, so I thought something is wrong,” Price-Miller said. “But being irresponsible I still didn’t get it checked out.”
When the pain returned in November, he finally consulted a doctor, but a routine examination suggested nothing was awry. When the calendar turned to 2020, not only was the pain more frequent, but it was also more severe.
“I went to Ortho Indy in August 2020 and got an x-ray and right away the doctor saw a bone spur on the top of my foot and said that’s rubbing on your tendon and causing all of your pain,” Price-Miller explained. “I thought we had it all figured out. I had surgery in November 2020 and did all the recovery and physical therapy stuff. I was doing fine and thought they had fixed it. Then in May or June of 2021, I started getting the same pain. I thought, ‘Well, this is the way it is going to be for the rest of my life.’
“But my mom made me go back and get it checked. They gave me an MRI and said there were abnormal findings,” Price-Miller continued. “From there I was sent to an oncologist and they did a CT scan and said there is definitely something there like a tumor on your leg. They didn’t think it was cancer, but said they needed to do a biopsy to make sure.
“Well, they found out what it was and I had to do more tests and blood work because at that point they didn’t know if it was lymphoma or leukemia,” he added. “I did all kinds of running around. Tests and three more biopsies because they said we don’t normally see this in an ankle, and in somebody your age. Then all my doctors met and the Mayo Clinic looked at it and so they said, ‘Here is the diagnosis and here is the treatment.’”