Hillier Shakes Off Injury, Runs 14th at Black Hills RAPID CITY, SD (June 25) -- Chad Hillier ignored the injury he suffered early in the evening and drove the ...
Hillier Shakes Off Injury, Runs 14th at Black Hills
RAPID CITY, SD (June 25) -- Chad Hillier ignored the injury he suffered early in the evening and drove the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim to a 14th-place finish in Monday's World of Outlaws "A" Feature at Black Hills Speedway.
The Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate started the Second Heat Race on the pole, but finished in fifth place after being struck in the right forearm by a rock early in the 10-lap race.
"It was eventful night, that's for sure," Hillier said. "It all turned out pretty well though. After the heat race, I was a little concerned with all the rocks and stuff flying around. It was good they got it in; it was questionable there for a while. The cars shot a few rocks up in the crowd. (Danny) Lasoski and I were running the second heat and he got a rock to the elbow and I got one to my right forearm. It required four stitches to get the wound sealed up.
"We started where we needed to in the heat, but after taking that rock to the forearm my right arm was pretty useless. I was just hanging on. It was pretty messy; there was quite a bit of blood everywhere. I felt lucky it wasn't any worse. They didn't tell me anything was broken. It felt like I was shot. I was hoping the race would go green-to-checker because it hurt more and more during the cautions. When we were racing, my adrenaline got going and I felt like I could get through it. We found the rock in the car and it was a pretty good-sized. It hit me just right and punctured my arm pretty good."
Hillier's 14.981-second lap was 14th-quick in the 37-car field, .416 seconds off fast-qualifier Daryn Pittman's pace-setting lap.
"It was fortunate that we had an early number in qualifying," Hillier said. "It was really dry early, then it laying taking rubber toward the end. Some guys started picking up some good times toward the end. We could have been better; we were just a bit too free. It didn't hurt us though. They had rubber down in qualifying and they went a little too deep when they ripped it up. The dirt there is like a gravel pit, and they just pulled up a lot of big rocks. They couldn't get it packed down tight enough, so they sent us all back out there again. But they worked at it and they got it all sealed back up. It took rubber again, but it was better than somebody getting a rock to the head. They had to run it tight; they just couldn't let it open up again."
Hillier started inside the ninth row in the 35-lap main event.
"Unfortunately, we didn't make the Dash, but we had a decent starting spot," Hillier said. "We weren't real good at the beginning -- we were a little free -- but in the rubber being free actually benefited us. We were rolling around there pretty good. We had to save our tires toward the end because we didn't think the rubber was going to come in as hard as it did. We went out with a 12 (compound) on the right rear. It was pretty used up, but we kept our nose clean the whole race and didn't get out of the rubber. When the opportunity arose, we ducked under a few guys and made the most of it. It was plenty windy in the 'A' Feature, too, which made it pretty wild. Sometimes, I'd run into a corner the way I did the lap before, but it just wouldn't go there. The wind was just pushing the car around. All in all though, it was good they got the track ready and we got the race in."
Hillier's 14th-place finish in the main event pushed him past Jeremy Campbell into 18th place in the point standings.
"Every time you can gain a position, it's always a plus," Hillier said. "That moves us up to 19th in owner points."
Hillier and DIRT Inc. be back in action this weekend at the annual Duel in the Dakotas event -- Friday at River Cities Raceway in Grand Forks, ND, and Saturday at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, ND.
"I remember the Duel in the Dakotas being a two- and three-day show at Red River Valley, but now it's split between two tracks," Hillier said. "That's good they're breaking it a little bit. I've never been to the track at Grand Forks; it will be interesting to see what it's like. I hear it's a 3/10-mile (like Skagit Speedway where Chad has won championships in all the sprint car divisions) so, as long as it has decent banking, we should be OK. We seem to be pretty good at those this year. Anything that's a little smaller and has a wall around it has been good for us. If you go in and do well in hot laps, it just builds your momentum for the whole night. Hopefully, we can got there and feel comfortable right off the bat.
"I know Red River Valley is pretty big and fast. I just hope we can get going and have a good run."
-credit: dirt, inc