Hillier Runs 20th in 'Duel in the Dakotas' Opener GRAND FORKS, ND (June 29) -- Chad Hillier was looking forward to Friday's "Duel in the Dakotas" opener at River Cities Speedway, a high-banked, 3/10-mile oval that resembles Skagit Speedway where...
Hillier Runs 20th in 'Duel in the Dakotas' Opener
GRAND FORKS, ND (June 29) -- Chad Hillier was looking forward to Friday's "Duel in the Dakotas" opener at River Cities Speedway, a high-banked, 3/10-mile oval that resembles Skagit Speedway where he won three championships.
Battling the elements as well as the best sprint car racers in the world, the World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate drove the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim into 20th place. Hillier's 22nd top-20 finish of the season pushed him to within 122 points of 2006 Rookie of the Year Chad Kemenah for 17th place in the point standings.
"We were looking for ways to help us get better all night," Hillier said. "We were either free on entry or free on exit; we just didn't have a car that would corner very nice. It was kind of frustrating on a racetrack like that (similar to his home track). We're just going to try to do better at Fargo (Red River Valley Speedway)."
After recording the 21st-fastest qualifying lap (10.430 seconds) in the 45-car field, Hillier battled fellow rookie Sam Hafertepe Jr. in the First Heat Race and the "A" Feature.
"In the heat race, I had him (Hafertepe) and was in a transfer spot, but he got me back," said Hillier, who finished sixth in the 10-lap race. "In the feature, we were a little too tight at the beginning and we might have sealed a tire up; I couldn't get a hold of anything."
Hillier raced past local favorite Wade Nygaard and World of Outlaws second-year racer Jeremy Campbell on his way to a runner-up run in the "B" Feature to qualify for the 40-lap main event.
"The track was pretty racy; a little slick, but it never took rubber or anything," Chad said. "We thought we might get rained out earlier in the night. We were delayed a little by rain, but we got it in and it turned out to be a pretty nice night. The rain seemed to open the track up a little bit, but we just weren't very good."
Hillier and DIRT Inc. will be back in action Saturday in the "Duel in the Dakotas" finale at Red River Valley Speedway, a big, high-banked, half-mile oval.
"We hope to get something going at Fargo," Hillier said. "This new car has given us a little bit of trouble, but we'll find what makes it happy and get going good again."