Mechanical Malfunction Costs Hillier Top-10 Finish WEST FARGO, ND (June 30) -- Chad Hillier was 3 2/3 laps from his second top-10 finish of the season in Saturday's "Duel in the Dakotas" finale at Red River Valley Speedway when disaster...
Mechanical Malfunction Costs Hillier Top-10 Finish
WEST FARGO, ND (June 30) -- Chad Hillier was 3 2/3 laps from his second top-10 finish of the season in Saturday's "Duel in the Dakotas" finale at Red River Valley Speedway when disaster struck. A mechanical malfunction forced the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim to stop and Hillier surrendered ninth place.
"It was disappointing, but at least we had a competitive racecar," the always-upbeat World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender said. "I'd rather be competitive and have something fail than stink. It was a letdown, but it was it was a confidence builder, too. We left Red River Valley knowing we were decent instead of being slow and not knowing why.
"The plug in the front the U-joint came out and the drive line went forward and came out of the back of the coupler. She started vibrating pretty bad with about eight (laps) to go. Every lap, I'd look at the lap board hoping it would stay together, but it didn't."
Hillier's 109.636 MPH lap around the high-banked, ½-mile oval was the 14th-fastest in the 30-car field, .329 seconds off fast-qualifier Danny Lasoski's pace. The only driver to win sprint car championships in all three divisions at Skagit Speedway finished seventh in the Second Heat Race, but pulled off a last-lap pass of Justin Henderson to win the "B" Feature and qualify for the 30-lap main event.
"We had it a little rough in the heat race, but we sorted that out in the 'B,'" Hillier said. "Henderson went down to check the bottom and I drove around the outside of him."
Hillier, who started outside the seventh row in the "A" Feature, raced past Jason Meyers, Brian Carlson and fellow Washingtonian Jason Solwold during the opening lap. Chad passed fellow rookie Sam Hafertepe Jr. for ninth place on lap 17, but lost the position nine laps later when he stopped in the second corner.
"We had a really good start in the ('A') Feature," Hillier said. "It was pretty much wide open for everybody. We just fell in line and did the best we could. Unfortunately, we had a mechanical failure."
Hillier and DIRT Inc. will be back in action Sunday at Cedar Lake Speedway, a high-banked, 3/8-mile oval located in New Richmond, WI.
"We'll just fix the rear end and go out and race again at Cedar Lake," Hillier said. "It's been a couple of years since I've seen the racetrack, but we expect to have a good race there. As I recall, there's a pond in the middle of the infield. It's a pretty racy racetrack, but it's dry. We'll just go up there and do the best we can."