Hillier Has Bitter-Sweet Run at Knoxville KNOXVILLE, IA (June 16) -- Considering Chad Hillier's evening ended in the "C" Feature the last time the World of Outlaws raced at Knoxville Raceway, driving the ...
Hillier Has Bitter-Sweet Run at Knoxville
KNOXVILLE, IA (June 16) -- Considering Chad Hillier's evening ended in the "C" Feature the last time the World of Outlaws raced at Knoxville Raceway, driving the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim into 23rd-place in Saturday's Media.com Outlaws Shootout at "The Home of the Nationals" was an improvement. The Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate expected more of himself, however.
"It was better than last time, but not as good as we hoped for," Hillier said. "We had a good starting position in the heat race, but we fell back to sixth, unfortunately, and had to run the 'B' Main. We were a little disappointed but, on the other hand, happy, too. There were a few who didn't make it (Dion Hindi, Jeremy Campbell, Jason Sides and Tony Bruce Jr.). The worst thing was that we had a good opportunity to make the dash and we didn't. We were fortunate to start in the first couple of rows of the 'B' Main or we wouldn't have made the feature."
Hillier's 16.260-second lap was the 16th-fastest in the 47-car field. He started on the pole in the Fourth Heat Race, but lost his chance to race in the Crane Cams Dash when he finished sixth behind World of Outlaws veterans Steve Kinser, Donny Schatz, Joey Saldana, Brooke Tatnell and Daryn Pittman. Chad earned the privilege of starting the 25-lap "A" Feature outside the eighth row by finishing second in the "B" Feature.
Hillier surrendered 20th place in the main event when he spun in the first corner early in the seventh lap.
"After they opened the track up (for the 'A' Feature), the cars running in the low groove were throwing marbles out and I entered the turn a little too high in the marbles and got sideways," Hillier said. "I didn't want to be parked sideways on the racetrack, so I tried to spin out of it and keep going, but it stalled.
"I wish we could have done better; I wish we could do it over again. I made a few wrong calls. When the rubber laid down, we changed some things. We probably should have just left it alone and we would have been a lot better. We tried to free the car up a little bit, but we just went a little too far.
"The track was pretty dry when we got there. I was pretty unhappy when I drew an early pill (for qualifying). That's three nights in a row we've run on rubber. There was only one groove at the start of the feature, but we started moving around and found a couple more. Then it started laying rubber again toward the end."
The Media.com Outlaws Shootout was the inaugural event in the "SuperClean Summer of Money," a series of telecasts on ESPN2 each Sunday between June 17 and August 5. Saturday's race was televised at 11 a.m. EDT on June 17th.
DIRT Inc. will be back in World of Outlaws action Wednesday at another half-mile oval -- Missouri State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, MO -- then head to Dodge City Raceway Park for the Boot Hill Showdown Friday and Saturday.
"Sedalia is another big track so, hopefully, we can get going there," Hillier said. "Then we go to Dodge City, which is a really nice place."