Hillier Finishes 19th at Lebanon Valley Speedway WEST LEBANON, NY (July 22) -- World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender Chad Hillier drove the ...
Hillier Finishes 19th at Lebanon Valley Speedway
WEST LEBANON, NY (July 22) -- World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender Chad Hillier drove the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim into 19th place in Sunday's CarQuest Auto Parts event at Lebanon Valley Speedway.
"We weren't bad, but I think we could have done better," said Hillier, who was racing at the high-banked, ½-mile oval for the first time. "The car was a little too snug in the feature, but it was rolling around nice and we were competitive. We didn't have the best time, but we were right there in the mix. I think we made the right call on tires, but I'm not sure we did the right thing to the chassis to compensate for it. There wasn't a whole lot of passing going on; I just wish we could have been one of those doing the passing."
Hillier was the 19th-fastest qualifier in the 32-car field with a 17.139-second lap, .538 seconds off Tim Shaffer's pacesetting lap around "The Valley of Speed."
"We felt like the car needed more gear after hot laps, but in qualifying I think we could have gotten away with what we had in hot laps," Hillier said. "That might have enabled us to pick up a 10th of a second, which would have made the difference between making the inversion (top 16) or not."
Forced to compete in a star-studded heat race that included World of Outlaws veterans Paul McMahan, Steve Kinser, Craig Dollansky, Danny Lasoski, Hillier raced into fifth place to qualify for the 25-lap "A" Feature.
"There were plenty of great drivers in our heat," Hillier said. "When I got into fifth place, I just did my best to keep up. I was glad to qualify for the feature in the heat race."
Hillier, the only driver to win championships in all three sprint car divisions at Skagit Speedway, started inside the 10th row in the main event.
"We had a hard time getting the car through the corners in the feature," Chad said. "After we got lapped, I didn't want to get out too far toward the wall. I had to make the corner pretty wide to get the car to roll through, but I didn't want to get in the way of the guys who were racing for position up front. If we could have figured out how to make the car work with what we had, I think we would have been a lot better. Getting stuck in the back with as tight as we had the car, it just took too long to get going. We'll use what we learned there somewhere else though."
Hillier and DIRT Inc. will be back in action Wednesday when the World of Outlaws visits Ohsweken Speedway, a high-banked, 3/8-mile oval in Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada for the first time.
"Since nobody else in the series has raced at the track, it should be an equalizer for us," Hillier said. "We usually have guys who have raced at a track 20 or 30 times, but now it could be the locals who can spank us. Another big challenge is getting across the border. Hopefully, that will go smoothly and the race goes well. I haven't heard much about the track; just that a lot of people will be there. It should be interesting."