Hillier Improves in Summer Nationals' Second Prelim MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 20) -- Chad Hillier and the ...
Hillier Improves in Summer Nationals' Second Prelim
MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 20) -- Chad Hillier and the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim were visibly faster when the World of Outlaws returned to Williams Grove Speedway Friday for the second preliminary program at the Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals.
The Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate qualified 20 positions better than on opening night with a 17.806-second lap that was the 24th-fastest in the 54-car field.
"We were better than the night before, that's for sure," Hillier said. "We drew a good number, which really helped. It's amazing what the pill draw can do for you. We didn't quite get the qualifying time we needed though. We needed to start on the front row to make up for our lack of experience at this place."
Hillier, the only driver to win championships in all three sprint car divisions at Skagit Speedway, finished eighth after starting outside the third row in the Fifth Heat Race. He started outside the third row in the "B" Feature, too, but finished in 10th place.
"We ran decent in the heat, but we couldn't quite get there to qualify for the feature," Hillier said. "We were pretty good in the 'B,' but we jumped the cushion and lost four spots with six laps to go. We went in behind Haud (Jac Haudenschild) on the cushion and got up over it. By the time we gathered it back up, we were back in ninth or 10th. It wasn't the greatest, but we were better than we were the night before. The new car we put together ran well.
"With the class of cars and the track itself, Williams Grove is one of the toughest tracks we come to all year. It's a really technical racetrack. There are guys who run here all the time who have tough nights, too, so you have to take advantage of every chance you get to get where you need to be. With the long straightaways and tight corners, you have to almost come to a complete stop if you run the bottom. The top isn't as hard, but there's still plenty of control and braking you have to learn. It's a steep learning curve here."
Hillier intends to continue his improvement Saturday when the World of Outlaws returns to "The Grove" for the Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals' feature program.
"We need to run well and catch some breaks in our heat race so we can qualify for the feature," Hillier said. "We just have to do our best and keep working on the car to make it run better at this place. We'll be better when we come back next time."