Hillier Runs 15th in Brad Doty Classic LIMA, OH (July 11) -- Chad Hillier drove the ...
Hillier Runs 15th in Brad Doty Classic
LIMA, OH (July 11) -- Chad Hillier drove the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim into 15th place in Wednesday's 19th Annual Brad Doty Classic at Limaland Motorsports Park.
Hillier, who is racing for the World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year award Doty received in 1982, ranks second in the standings behind Australian Kerry Madsen.
The DIRT Inc. team got off to a fast start as Hillier recorded the third-fastest qualifying lap in the 42-car field, only .024 seconds off fast-qualifier and eventual feature winner Jac Haudenschild's pace. Hitting the outside retaining wall at the beginning of the Third Heat Race broke the #5C's front axle, however, and resulted in an eighth-place finish.
"Qualifying went well, but we broke our front axle when we got into the wall on the initial start of the heat race," Hillier said. "On one of the other starts, we got our front wing hooked on Daryn Pittman's rear bumper and it tore it off."
Starting next to NASCAR Nextel Cup star and fellow Washingtonian Kasey Kahne on the front row in the "B" Feature, Hillier finished fourth to earn the privilege of starting the 40-lap main event inside the sixth row.
"It was good to have Kasey race with us," Hillier said. "Having him there helps bring out more fans, and he actually ran really well. We used to race together on the West Coast; he was just able to get off the West Coast before I did. Dave (DeWitt, the DIRT Inc. team owner) was actually one of his sponsors when he raced out there. Dave's done a lot for West Coast drivers."
Hillier passed Kahne during the opening lap of the "A" Feature, and battled Pittman for 12th place during the race's middle stages.
"We were just kind of free all night, and the track was pretty slick," Hillier said. "We were pretty decent at the start of the 'A," but we should have been tighter. We got loose toward the end and lost most of our positions in the final 10 laps.
"Daryn and I were sliding each other every lap. It got to the point where one of us had the let the other one go. He seemed to be a little bit better, and he started way back. So, instead of racing him every lap, I let him go and tried to get in behind him. We just weren't that good toward the end, and he managed to pass a few more cars. If you're just racing one guy, the whole field can get away from you. "It wasn't too bad, but it would have been better to finish in the top 10 since we had a good starting position."
Everybody at DIRT Inc. is looking forward to this weekend's races at two-time NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway: Friday's "Knight Before the Kings Royal" and Saturday's $50,000 "Kings Royal."
"We picked up a fresh (Don) Ott motor for the Eldora races," Hillier said. "We hope everything goes well there. We're going to do our best to stay away from early mistakes. We want to make sure everything is running right Friday and then have a really good run Saturday. We've been getting better at Eldora, so I feel a lot more confident going there this time. It's not a guessing game now; we know how we need to start with the chassis and motor.
"The guys (Crew Chief Tyler Swank, Mechanic Pete Stephens and Crewman Curtis Bye) are working really hard and they're doing a good job in the pits. Curtis (who joined DIRT Inc. last week) is getting the hang of it, and everybody's working well together. We're in good spirits."