Hillier Finishes 20th in Harvest Classic Opener CALISTOGA, CA (September 1) -- Chad Hillier mixed it up with Australian champion Brooke Tatnell throughout opening night of the World of Outlaws' 15th Annual Harvest Classic Saturday at ...
Hillier Finishes 20th in Harvest Classic Opener
CALISTOGA, CA (September 1) -- Chad Hillier mixed it up with Australian champion Brooke Tatnell throughout opening night of the World of Outlaws' 15th Annual Harvest Classic Saturday at Calistoga Speedway, and eventually drove the #5c DIRT Inc. Maxim into 20th place in the "A" Feature.
The Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender was the 21st-fastest qualifier -- three positions ahead of Tatnell -- and finished right behind the World Series Sprintcar champion in the Third Heat Race, the "B" Feature and the "A" Feature.
"No matter what Brooke and I did, we were stuck racing with each other all night," Chad said. "We got off to a slow start in qualifying and I bicycled hard and got into the wall on the first lap of heat race. We had to change the right rear, and we weren't quite good enough to make up enough ground to catch up on a half-mile."
Hillier held off Justin Henderson by .488 seconds in the last-chance race to claim the final qualifying position in the 25-lap main event.
"We caught a break in the 'B' with (pole-sitter Tim) Kaeding blowing a tire," Chad said. "We got into a transfer spot, and then we just made the most of a rubber-down racetrack in the feature. We passed a couple and got past a few through attrition. We did everything we could. We weren't perfect by any means, but we weren't that far off.
"You had to keep your line in the corner so you didn't let somebody by, then get into the throttle down the straightaways. It was kind of like a drag race; you had to get to the corner and get in the rubber, then take off and get going again. There were a couple of lanes, but you couldn't make a mistake when you tried to go around somebody. No matter what you were trying to do, you had to make sure you didn't get out of the rubber and slip up. It was a little tedious out there."
Hillier's 28th top-20 finish of the season pushed him to within 11 points of fellow rookie Sam Hafertepe Jr. in their battle for 19th place in the World of Outlaws point standings.
DIRT Inc. is looking forward to Sunday's Harvest Classic finale.
"We were a little bit tight in qualifying and it hurt us," Chad said. "We're hoping to qualify better so we can start closer to the front Sunday."