Wheelstands Hamper Hillier at Thunderbowl TULARE, CA (October 13) -- If Olympic judges had been present at Saturday's Dave Helm Memorial at Thunderbowl Raceway, Chad Hillier would have probably received a medal. Unfortunately, while his ...
Wheelstands Hamper Hillier at Thunderbowl
TULARE, CA (October 13) -- If Olympic judges had been present at Saturday's Dave Helm Memorial at Thunderbowl Raceway, Chad Hillier would have probably received a medal. Unfortunately, while his wheelstands excited the crowd, they kept him from qualifying for the "A" Feature honoring his former boss.
The World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender was running fourth in the "B" Feature when his turn-four wheelie allowed Jeff Delte to pass him for the final transfer position.
"We had a pretty good race there in the 'B,' but we were tight and wheeling pretty bad," Chad said. "I made one really big wheelie and lost the transfer spot, and couldn't get it back. We were running third when Haud (Jac Haudenschild) got by us, and wheelied really bad coming out of turn four and lost fourth place. Fans love wheelies but, when the wheels are up the air, you're not going fast. You don't get style points either.
"I thought I was going to benefit in lapped traffic, but we couldn't ever get back into a transfer spot. That was really unfortunate; it would have been nice to transfer into the feature. We should have had the car a little bit freer so we could get through the corners better. We had a good car; we just didn't get a chance to show it."
Hillier drove the #5c DIRT Inc. Maxim around the Tulare's semi-banked, 1/3-mile oval in 14.230 seconds, which was the 22nd-fastest qualifying lap and .597 seconds off Paul McMahan's pace.
"We qualified OK, but it can always be better," Chad said. "We got a little sideways in the first turn and lost quite a bit of speed, but the next corner was pretty good. We just needed to be six or seven spots better.
"The track was pretty narrow all night. Unfortunately, we had to start on the third row in the heat race and we didn't transfer out."
Hillier, the only driver to win championships in all three sprint car divisions at Skagit Speedway, finished seventh in the Second Heat Race.
"You could run up top for a few laps, but it was pretty rough," Chad said. "You really had to be careful running up there. It's surprising that the race went as well as it did considering how narrow and rough the track was. It wasn't a typical Tulare race. The track usually has a top and a bottom, but everybody was running around the bottom."
Hillier and DIRT Inc. will run World of Outlaws races at Manzanita Speedway Friday and Perris Auto Speedway Saturday.
"We've been to Manzanita a couple of times, so I think we'll be pretty good there this time," Chad said. "We've been getting better and better on the half-miles. We've never been to Perris, so we're excited to go there. We're looking forward to the weekend."