Chad Hillier Knoxville Nationals Thursday summary

Hillier Runs Hard in Knoxville Nationals Opener KNOXVILLE, IA (August 9) -- Chad Hillier qualified well, transferred from the "C" Feature and drove the ...

Hillier Runs Hard in Knoxville Nationals Opener

KNOXVILLE, IA (August 9) -- Chad Hillier qualified well, transferred from the "C" Feature and drove the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim past seven cars in the "B" when the 47th Annual Knoxville Nationals opened at Knoxville Raceway Thursday.

Sprint car racing's most prestigious event was scheduled to start Wednesday, but officials rescheduled Wednesday's program for Friday when rain made the legendary half-mile oval unsafe for racing.

Hillier's 119.506-MPH time trial was the 17th-fastest in the 50-car field and .245 seconds off former Selma Shell teammate Paul McMahan's pace-setting lap.

A ninth-place finish behind former American Sprint Car Series champion Jason Johnson in the Second Heat Race put Hillier inside the second row in the "C" Feature. A runner-up run in the "C" gave Chad the 22nd starting position in the "B" Feature, and he raced into 15th place.

"It was good to qualify well," Chad said. "We got a good number and ran a couple of good laps. We were a little off in the heat race, and we fell back a little bit. We were better in the 'C' and passed some cars in the 'B.' We weren't as good as we would like to have been but, all in all, it was a pretty good night."

Hillier is looking forward to Saturday's feature racing program at the 47th running of sprint car racing's most prominent event.

"We're pleased, but we always want to do better," Chad said. "I think we're around the middle of the pack in the preliminary points. It's an improvement over last year. We're going to watch the track Friday and see what we can pick up for Saturday, then we'll get prepared and hope for the best."

-credit: dirt-inc

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Jason Johnson