It was Fan Appreciation Night on Saturday at Hilltop Speedway, and what better way to thank the individuals who come out and support their local dirt track each and every week than with a night of nonstop racing action including the $500-to-win Rigz Towing Modlite Special.
Starting off the night’s events were the First Choice Stump Grinding and Trees mini wedges with nine youngsters in both divisions. Heat race winner among the junior division was Conner Hess while Logan Duncan picked up the win for the senior division.
The green was out for the junior division as it was pole sitter Hess who would take an early lead with Caden Wiley looking in. Troubles for Hess with one to go would bring out the caution and force him to restart tail. At restart with one to go, Hess would make an effort to the front. However, he was unable to surpass as it was Wiley who would go on to pick up the win, followed by Hess, Brice Hague and Darryn Markey.
The senior division had a five-car field with Logan Duncan taking the top spot early, followed by Caden Alexander. Challenging, Alexander would do everything he could to get around Duncan. However, after winning the heat race and leading every lap of the feature, it was Duncan who would pick up the win, followed by Alexander, Evan Large, Reece Bollinger and Karyssa Beagle.
The Rigz Towing modlites had a field of 16 for their $500-to-win special with Tracy Fritter and Mark Marcucci each picking up a heat race win, setting them on the front row of their feature. Bringing the field to the start of their 12-lap $500-to-win feature event, it was pole sitter Fritter who would take the early lead as Marcucci and Joey Burkhead battled it out for second.
Six laps in the books, Fritter was all alone out front as Marcucci opened his lead up over Burkhead by lap eight. Meanwhile, working his way around Barry Jacobs to take fifth was Clint Snyder, who would look to make his way to the front. However, caution would come out, forcing a single-file restart. Back under green, Fritter would again take to the front of the field as Tanner McLoughlin would bobble, leaving the door opening for Snyder. Fortunately for Tanner McLoughlin, caution would come out before a lap would be completed, providing him with his fourth-place restart position.
Once again under green, Fritter would maintain his position as Tanner McLoughlin got the run around Burkhead for third, looking in on the bumper of Marcucci for second. Contact then occurred between the two as Tanner McLoughlin looked for a way to the front. Nevertheless, with the checkered out, it was Fritter with a commanding performance who picked up the Rigz Towing $500-to-win special. Finishing second was Marcucci, third was Tanner McLoughlin, fourth was Burkhead and rounding out the top five was Jacobs.
The Holmes Tire late model division had a field of 19 with Vic Hottinger setting fast time at a 14.253. Heat race winners were Cody Endlich and Larry Holbrook with “The General” George Lee winning the dash and pole position.
With the field set, the green was out for their 25-lap feature event. Jumping out front early was Shane McLoughlin with Lee and Corey Conley side by side, not far behind. With four laps in, caution would come out, setting the field up for single-file restart. Back under green, Shane McLoughlin would again retain the top spot as Conley looked to the inside of Lee. Eight laps down, the top three would begin to pull away from the field as they worked their way through lap traffic.
Lee encountered trouble as he would make contact with a lap car in turns one and two, although both were able to maintain position and stay under green flag racing. Unfortunately Lee would again have trouble in one and two, slowing off turn two just as a caution would come out, allowing him to maintain position. Single file to the green, Shane McLoughlin again fended off competitors to claim the top spot as Conley worked around Lee to take second. Moreover, Dave Hornikel also would challenge Lee as he took to the low line and would claim the third position off of two.
Once again under yellow, Conley would look to use the restart to his advantage. However, green flag racing, Shane McLoughlin would retain the lead as fast qualifier, and Vic Hottinger would look to the inside of Lee to take fourth going down the back stretch. As the leaders made their way back up to lap traffic, Conley would make a charge off of four to the checkered but was unable to surpass as it was Shane McLoughlin picking up his first feature win of the season. Rounding out the top five were Conley, Hornikel, Hottinger and Lee.
Danville’s own Nathon Loney would set fast time among a field of 17 in The Hangout in Danville modified division with a time of 16.026. A single heat race win went to “The Toboso Bullet” Jimmy Smith while “The Logger” Kevin Morehouse picked up the dash win.
Bringing the field to the green, Morehouse would take a slight lead. However, as the field went down the backstretch, a four-way battle ensued between front runners Morehouse, DJ Cline, Scott Peltz and Loney. Unfortunately caution would come out with a mere one lap in, forcing a single-file restart with Morehouse setting the pace back to the green.
With racing back underway, Morehouse would again take the top spot, this time with Cline challenging. Contact between Peltz and Loney occurred as the two battled it out for third with Peltz getting the advantage. Moreover, troubles for Loney in turn one and two would cause him to fall back to eighth. On lap six caution would once again come out, providing Cline another opportunity to get the run on current leader Morehouse.
Back under green, Cline would continue to challenge Morehouse. Nevertheless, “The Logger” would begin working his way through lap traffic, using them to his advantage to pull away from his challengers and claim his fifth feature win. Second went to Cline, followed by Peltz, Robin Duston and Lee.
Eleven trucks made up the field in the Bugs-R-Gone truck division with “The Dominator” Braxton Wilson and Donnie Danley each picking up a heat race win. With the field set, the green was out, and it was Braxton Wilson who would jump to an early lead with Danley a close second. Meanwhile, “Wild Hare” Travis Hare would make his way to battle the outside of Rolly Heyder for third. However, troubles for Hare would cost him position as Travis Winterringer would take fourth with three laps down.
Heyder, looking to take second from Danley, would be unsuccessful as Winterringer would put the pressure on him for third. Neverthless, Braxton Wilson, using lap traffic, would put distance between himself and the rest of the field, going on to pick up the feature win. Finishing second was Danley, third Heyder, fourth Winterringer and fifth Hare.
Next out were the Short Track Fire and Rescue mini stocks with a field of twelve. Heat race winners were John Ohse and Edwin Geary, placing them on the front row of the night’s feature. With the green out, the battle would ensue for the top spots. Geary would take the early lead as Ohse and Billy Parsons would go side by side for second with Ohse getting the edge out. Looking to the inside of front runner Geary, Ohse would challenge for the top spot with six laps in the books. However, he would be unable to do so as Parsons would make his way back under Ohse to claim second off of turn four with eight laps down.
All over the bumper of Geary, Parsons would look for his way to the front. Taking the inside line, Parsons would run side by side with Geary down the front stretch, taking the lead with one lap to go. Fending off Geary to go on and pick up the win was Parsons, followed by Geary, Ohse, Nova Martin and Corey Mills.
The Holmes Pest Control street stocks rounded out the night with a field of eight with Kyle Moore picking up the single heat race win. Rounding four to the green, Moore would take the top spot as the battle ensued between John Wilson and Kevin Potts for third. Working under Kevin for third, John Wilson would set his sights on David Potts in his effort to get to the front. Contact between the two would not hinder John Wilson as he took to the low side, taking second from David Potts. Nevertheless, fending off all competitors and able to pick up yet another feature win on the season was Moore, followed by John Wilson, David Potts, Kevin Potts and Trae Schonauer.