First Eldora Visit Rough for Rookie Hillier ROSSBURG, OH (April 13) -- As a crewman for Selma Shell Racing, Chad Hillier learned that life in the fast lane at Eldora Speedway meant running the top of the high-banked, Â½-mile oval. ...
First Eldora Visit Rough for Rookie Hillier
ROSSBURG, OH (April 13) -- As a crewman for Selma Shell Racing, Chad Hillier learned that life in the fast lane at Eldora Speedway meant running the top of the high-banked, ½-mile oval.
That was definitely not the case Friday when the World of Outlaws rookie drove the #5C DIRT Incorporated Maxim at "The World's Fastest Half-Mile" for the first time. A week after setting quick-time at Paducah International Raceway, Hillier's 133.205-MPH lap was .541 seconds off fast-qualifier Jason Meyers' pace and 30th-quick among the 41 cars at Eldora. The Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender's seventh-place run in the Second Heat Race and 10th-place finish in the "B" Feature kept him from qualifying for the main event.
"We had a tough night," Hillier said. "It didn't start out very well. Qualifying put us behind the eight-ball all night, and we had to chase in the heat race and "B" Feature. You had to run right around the bottom; there wasn't anything else you could do. It was the first race on the new surface. Before, if you could run the bottom well, you could run with the guys who were running the top. There isn't a top any more and the bottom is faster. That was my issue in qualifying. Historically, you had to run the top to be fast at Eldora. It wasn't that way this time."
The SPEED Channel will telecast Friday's Fed-Ex Outlaws Thunder event from Eldora Speedway on May 13th at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
Hillier and the DeWitt Industries Racing Team will be back in action Friday at Attica Raceway Park and Saturday at Tri-State Speedway. Attica Raceway Park is a semi-banked, 1/3-mile oval located on the Attica Independent Fairgrounds in Attica, OH. Tri-State Speedway is a high-banked, ¼-mile oval in Haubstadt, IN, celebrating its 50th year of operation.
"I haven't raced at Attica or Haubstadt, but I was there with the Selma Shell team," Hillier said. "Attica is a slick little place; Haubstadt has two grooves and is really racy. It has long straightaways and tight, little corners. Our plan is to run better next weekend."
Hillier is in the midst of a tough battle for the World of Outlaws' 2007 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award. The only driver to win all three sprint car championships at Skagit Speedway trails Kerry Madsen, Sam Hafertepe Jr. and Tony Bruce Jr. and leads Zach Chappell and James Mosher.