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Hillier Ties Hafertepe for 21st in Standings BECHTELSVILLE, PA (May 23) -- Chad Hillier moved into a tie with fellow rookie Sam Hafertepe Jr. for 21st place in the World of Outlaws point standings when he drove the ...

Hillier Ties Hafertepe for 21st in Standings

BECHTELSVILLE, PA (May 23) -- Chad Hillier moved into a tie with fellow rookie Sam Hafertepe Jr. for 21st place in the World of Outlaws point standings when he drove the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim into 20th place in Wednesday's Thunder on the Hill Keystone Cup Challenge at Grandview Speedway.

Hillier's eighth top-20 finish in his first full season with the world's greatest sprint car racers gave him 2,354 points through the first 24 events of the year. The only driver to win all three sprint car championships at Skagit Speedway ranked 18th with nine top-20 finishes while racing with the National Sprint Tour in 2006.

"We had a pretty decent car all night," Hillier said. "It didn't really show in qualifying and the heat race, but we were in a tough heat race (with second-quick Zach Chappell, 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion Craig Dollansky, 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, 1996 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year Joey Saldana and Billy Pauch and Fred Rahmer who have combined to win seven World of Outlaws "A" Features)."

Hillier, the 28th-fastest qualifier in the 39-car field, finished seventh in the Fourth Heat Race. Starting eighth in the "B" Feature, he pulled off a miraculous move to pass Mark Smith and 2006 World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Chad Kememah early in the 12-lap race to finish fourth and qualify for the main event.

"In the 'B' main, the car was working pretty well," Hillier said. "Kemenah got held up behind somebody (Smith) and I got by both of them in the same corner. We finished fourth and just made the best of it (his 24th starting position in the main event)."

Hillier raced past Jason Martin and Pauch during third lap of the "A" Feature, then exchanged 19th place with Jac Haudenschild during the fourth and fifth laps. Chad lost 18th place when he spun in front of the leaders early in lap 13, but passed Chappell several laps later and claimed 20th place with a 23rd-lap pass of Alan Krimes.

"We got off to a good start in the 'A' main," Hillier said. "The 36 car (Martin) got by me on a restart (during lap eight) and I was trying to pass him back. I got behind him on the cushion and he checked up a little bit. I was either going to run through the back of him or spin to miss him. I spun and stopped because I figured if I saved it we'd go a lap down even quicker. We still ended up going a lap down anyway. The car was working well; our motor just got warm toward the end and slowed us down."

When he was told he tied Sam Hafertepe Jr. for 21st place in the point standings, Hillier said: "Good; it would be nice to get into 17th or 18th so we wouldn't be on the bubble. We would like to be in the top 20 so we could get tow money; we're doing our best to get there. It seems like a lot of times when we run well everybody else runs well, and when we run bad they run bad. We just bounce back and forth with the guys who are around 20th. It's just been a wash here lately.

"Fortunately, we were able to transfer out of the 'B.' I was the only one who had a provisional to transfer out of the 'B,' which was nice. A few guys (Hafertepe, Kemenah, Terry McCarl, Dion Hindi, Tony Bruce Jr., Lance Dewease, Stevie Smith and Kerry Madsen) weren't even able to make the show. There were quite a few who couldn't get out of the 'B' because they didn't have any provisionals left. It's not the best year to be a rookie out here, but it's good because it will make us better if we can run decent in a tough year like this."

Hillier and DIRT Inc. will be back in action Friday in the Eckerd Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

When asked what he knows about racing at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Hillier said, "I know very little about it. I've driven by it and watched televised races from there, but I've never actually walked around it or seen the track. They said they're only going to give us one lap in qualifying there. That hurts us because we can usually correct a bad lap if we mess up on the first one, or vice versa -- but when you only get one lap and you've never raced there before, it's tough. Hopefully, we'll have a good showing there for the (SPEED) TV show."

-credit: rd/ch

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Billy Pauch , Jac Haudenschild , Sam Hafertepe Jr.