World of Outlaws' second preliminary at Heartland Park, June 16th

Hillenburg Experiences Deja Vu at Heartland Park By Richard Day TOPEKA, KS (June 16) -- A year ago, Andy Hillenburg was persevering through a tough season when he passed 17 cars on his way to winning the...

Hillenburg Experiences Deja Vu at Heartland Park By Richard Day TOPEKA, KS (June 16) -- A year ago, Andy Hillenburg was persevering through a tough season when he passed 17 cars on his way to winning the Preliminary Feature victory in the Inaugural O'Reilly's Auto Parts Sunflower Shootout. Hillenburg experienced deja vu Friday when another victory -- in the Second Preliminary Feature -- in the O'Reilly's Auto Parts Sunflower Shootout at Heartland Park Topeka's Martin Cat-Power Speedway elevated his Luxaire team's spirits again. "This place has been pretty good to me," Andy said. "I just hope it's good one more night. "We started off OK this year, then had a slow streak. Ricky Warner was working with us and he and I just couldn't seem to get on the same page, so he moved down the road. I'm doing the car (set-ups) now, and Diesel (Keith Carlson) is keeping everything running. We got Jason (Hageman) helping us out with tires and he's been just super. He gives me anything I ask for. I'm just glad to get a win for Luxaire, John Christner Trucking, J&J and Hoosier. The tires were great tonight." Johnny Herrera didn't let a flat left front tire keep him from holding off Hillenburg on his way to winning the O'Reilly's Auto Parts Sunflower Shootout a year ago. TNN will televise Saturday's finale on a tape-delayed basis, starting at midnight EDT. Hillenburg, the 11th-fastest qualifier in the Second Preliminary Program, won the Third NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and the First CHANNELLOCK Dash from outside the front row. Steve Kinser earned the right to start the feature on the front row next to Hillenburg by winning the Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash. Hillenburg beat the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader down the front straightaway as the green flag fell in the Preliminary Feature to take the early advantage, and held him off throughout the 20-lap race. NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winners Mark Kinser and Craig Dollansky exchanged third place twice during the first lap. Hillenburg was approaching lapped traffic eight laps later when Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner Jac Haudenschild took the #22 fetchOmatic.com Maxim for a spin in the second corner. Hillenburg was seven car-lengths ahead of "The King of the Outlaws" when they caught the backmarkers again with 3 1/2 laps remaining. Hillenburg steadily built a comfortable advantage and took the checkered flag with 10 car-lengths to spare. "We never really got into traffic tonight, but I think it'll be a lot different tomorrow with a longer race," Andy explained. "We were working the middle pretty good in (turns) one and two, and I think we could have gotten through traffic down there." The $5,000 victory was Hillenburg's first since last September 17th during the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway. He enters Saturday's feature program only nine points behind Joey Saldana in their battle for seventh place in the series' driver standings. Mark Kinser held off Dollansky to finish in third place. Dean Jacobs finished fifth, ahead of Dale Blaney, Jason Meyers, Danny Wood, Danny Lasoski and Lance Blevins. Dollansky and Hillenburg, the only two drivers to finish in the top four in both Preliminary Features, will start Saturday's Second CHANNELLOCK Dash on the front row. Steve Kinser and First Preliminary Feature winner Sammy Swindell will start on the second row. Lasoski was leading the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race when the #83 Beef Packers Eagle spun during the final lap. He won the "B" Feature, then passed five cars to finish ninth in the evening's main event. Haudenschild received his fifth Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season after slashing .3 seconds off the single-lap record Swindell set Thursday. "The Wild Child" circled the semi-banked, 3/8- mile oval in 16.170 seconds, an average speed of 83.488 m.p.h. WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Jason Meyers , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera