Hiller Races into 15th Place at Charter BEAVER DAM, WI (September 16) -- Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender Chad Hillier made a clear improvement over his last visit to Charter Raceway Park Sunday when the World of Outlaws ...
Hiller Races into 15th Place at Charter
BEAVER DAM, WI (September 16) -- Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender Chad Hillier made a clear improvement over his last visit to Charter Raceway Park Sunday when the World of Outlaws returned to the 1/3-mile oval.
Hillier, who crashed as he was racing for a spot in the top five on August 3rd, drove the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim into 15th place from inside the 11th row. His 31st top-20 finish of the season pushed Hillier into a tie for 19th place with fellow rookie Sam Hafertepe Jr.
"We had a better night at Charter than we did the last time," Chad said, "but we struggled with the car being tight all night. We found it at the end of the night; it was a right front shock with air in it. That kept us from accelerating the way we needed to. We weren't too bad though."
Despite the mechanical problem, Hiller improved six positions in the main event.
"Some of those were through attrition, but we passed some cars, too," Chad said. "Unfortunately, we got lapped, but when we did we could actually run with them. We had a competitive car; we just had to start in the back because we didn't qualify well. When we left, we felt pretty good about it.
"I think that right front shock was bad most of the night. We should have changed it after hot laps, but everybody was pretty tight at that time. It was just the nature of the racetrack, so we didn't think much of it. When the track slicked off, we were still tight. If we had been freer in qualifying and the car would corner nicer, we could have gotten where we needed to be."
Hillier was the 23rd-fastest qualifier in the 31-car field, .905 seconds off Jason Solwold's pace. Following a seventh-place finish in the Second Heat Race, Hillier raced into fourth in the "B" Feature to qualify for the 40-lap "A" Feature.
"We had to come out of the 'B,' unfortunately, but we ran a pretty good heat race," Chad said. "I had (Jeremy) Campbell and he slipped me back. I should have checked up going down the straightaway and dove back under him. I thought I could get around him on the outside because we were pretty good on the top. He stayed in front of me and I had to check up for him, and (Brooke) Tatnell got back by me. I had to pass Tatnell back and, by then, we couldn't catch Campbell and make the pass."
Hillier and his DIRT Inc. teammates drove 593 miles following Friday's race at Heartland Park Topeka to reach the racetrack formerly known as Beaver Dam Raceway.
"It really didn't affect us because we broke up the trip," Chad said. "After we raced at Topeka (KS), we drove up to a friend's house in Pella (IA) and stayed there. It was nice to catch up and go out to dinner with them. Then we got up and headed here the next morning.
"It's not good that we have to travel that much, but it's just that way this time of year. The schedule is a little goofy; you'd think they could put some races closer together. When you figure how many races we have left and how many miles we have to travel to do it, it works out to about 1,000 miles per race. Every race is important though, so we're going to race them all as hard as we can. The crew's working really hard and our sponsors are supporting us well. We really appreciate everything (Car Owner) Dave (DeWitt) does for us, so we're doing the best we can for him."
The next stop on the World of Outlaws' hectic schedule is Eldora Speedway, where Hillier has improved with each visit this season.
"We ran pretty well at the Kings Royal the last time we were there (in mid-July)," Chad said. "We had a decent car. Hopefully, we can build off that and get going better. We just want to get better every night."