Flat Tire Hampers Hillier in Caterpillar Clash ALGER, WA (August 25) -- Chad Hillier improved on his opening-night performance at Skagit Speedway, but a flat tire on the ...
Flat Tire Hampers Hillier in Caterpillar Clash
ALGER, WA (August 25) -- Chad Hillier improved on his opening-night performance at Skagit Speedway, but a flat tire on the #5c DIRT Inc. Maxim kept him from recording one of the better finishes of his rookie season in Saturday's Caterpillar Clash.
Although his right rear tire was losing air pressure throughout the final 30 laps, the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender raced into 16th place in the "A" Feature to regain 19th place in the World of Outlaws point standings. Hiller exchanged positions with opening-night feature winner Brooke Tatnell during the first 10 laps, and battled World of Outlaws veterans Daryn Pittman and Jason Meyers during the final five laps.
"We were better than we were on the first night, but we would have been even better if we hadn't had the tire going down," Chad said. "If we could have had longer runs, the tire would have kept more pressure. For as heavy the track was, we feel pretty good about it."
Hiller's 12.018-second lap around the high-banked, 3/10-mile oval was the 24th-fastest in the 42-car field and .461 seconds off fast-qualifier Randy Hannagan's pace. The only driver to win championships in all three sprint car divisions at Skagit Speedway qualified for the 40-lap main event by finishing fifth in the Fourth Heat Race.
"It was a really late night because it rained early in the program, but we got it in," Chad said. "It's always good when you have more support, but once you're strapped in and fired off you really don't think about that. It was nice having family and friends come by to visit though. It was nice to see everybody; we had a good time. Dave and the whole DeWitt family were there, which was nice. We have a special relationship with them. He's given me a great opportunity, so I want to run the best I can for him. We're going to help Josh (DeWitt, Dave's son) with his 360 racecar Sunday."
Hillier's 27th top-20 finish of the season pushed him 26 points ahead of fellow rookie Sam Hafertepe Jr. in the World of Outlaws point standings.
"We're running so close, I'm sure we'll be bouncing back and forth for the rest of the year," Chad said. "It just seems like one guy has a good night when the other doesn't."
Hillier and Washington-based DIRT Inc. will be back in action Monday at Grays Harbor Raceway, a high-banked, 3/8-mile oval in Elma, WA.
"We're looking forward to racing at Elma," Chad said. "It's a pretty fast place. We had a couple of decent runs there last year. It's only about three hours from where I live, so I'll get to sleep in my own bed a few more nights which is nice."
Hillier raced into 15th and 18th place in National Sprint Tour "A" Features at Grays Harbor Raceway in 2006.