Late Vibration Hampers Hillier at Tri-City GRANITE CITY, IL (June 14) -- World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate Chad Hillier drove the ...
Late Vibration Hampers Hillier at Tri-City
GRANITE CITY, IL (June 14) -- World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate Chad Hillier drove the #5C DIRT Inc. Maxim into 17th place, but a vibration caused him to lose four positions down the stretch Thursday at Tri-City Speedway.
Hillier passed Dion Hindi, Kaley Garst and Jeremy Campbell during the first half of the race only to have mechanical problems allow them to relegate him to 21st place. His 12.689-second lap was the 23rd-fastest in the 36-car field. His fourth-place finish in the Third Heat Race allowed him to start inside the 11th row in the 35-lap "A" Feature.
"We got going pretty good at the start of the feature," Hillier said, "but the track started taking rubber and our right rear (tire) started shaking really bad. It got really bad with five laps to go. I wasn't sure what it was, so I checked up in case it was a U-joint or something else going out. We finished, but it seemed like the harder I ran the car, the more it vibrated. I'm hoping we find something obvious and can fix it. There's a good chance it could have just been the tire. I've just never had one shake that bad. We didn't qualify the greatest, but we had a decent heat race. I think we could have had better racing if they had prepped the track and gotten the rubber off it for the feature. That's two nights in a row we've raced on rubber, and it doesn't make for very good racing."
It's not going to get any easier this weekend, as the World of Outlaws heads north to "The Home of the Nationals" -- Knoxville Raceway. The hallowed half-mile oval is prepared as well as any in the country, and the competition is incredibly tough, too.
Knoxville has a full field of 410s, and they run there every weekend," Hillier said. "Their equipment is just as good as everybody else's out here, so it just makes it that much tougher. Instead of competing with 25 Outlaws, you have 25 more to compete with.
"We're going to try a different motor at Knoxville. We need to see if we can build more speed at the bigger tracks. I was a little skeptical about taking out the one we've been running because it's running pretty well. But we have to make sure we have another one that runs so we can get this one refreshed when it needs it. We've raced better on the smaller racetracks; we need to get our big-track program going. We need to get our motors up and running so they accelerate faster and get out of the corner. I think we found something at Eldora that made them accelerate through the corner. We were a little sluggish coming off, so we just need to find out how to get from Point A to Point B a little quicker. We'll figure it out."
Hillier ranks 19th in the World of Outlaws point standings, 60 points behind Campbell. The only driver to win championships in all three sprint car racing divisions at Skagit Speedway runs second in the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year points race, 332 behind Kerry Madsen.
-credit: dirt, inc