latemodelamerica.com - July 9 - Volunteer Speedway
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 

Hill Speeds to Volunteer "Summer Sizzler" Victory

 

By Robert Walden

 

BULLS GAP, Tenn. - July 9.  If anyone knows the fast route around the high banks at Volunteer Speedway it's five-time track champion Vic Hill of Morristown. Closing in on 100 career feature victories at "The Gap",” the 47-year-old racing veteran Hill added one more notch to his belt along with $5,000 to his bank account Saturday for winning the "Summer Sizzler Shootout 50".

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series racer Austin Dillon toured the 4/10-mile oval at 12.259-seconds to earn the pole position for the event, with Hill second quickest to nail down the outside front-row starting berth.

 

Dillon grabbed the lead on the opening lap over Hill racing off turn two, followed by Eric Jacobsen, Mark Douglas and Brett Miller. Only 10 laps in, Dillon had powered out to 12 car-length advantage over Hill and Jacobsen, who were battling for second.

Closing to the back of the running order on lap 15 to begin lapping a trio of cars, Dillon got trapped behind them and Hill and Jacobsen quickly closed in. Racing off the fourth turn on lap 16, Hill pulled the trigger and shot past Dillon to take a lead he would never relinquish.

 

With the race running clean-and-green, Hill began to separate himself some from Dillon and Jacobsen. As the raced reached halfway, Hill was setting a blistering pace in command out front over Dillon, while Jacobsen and Douglas were battling for third in the running order.

 

With 10 laps remaining, Hill had the cruise control set headed to the checkered flag. But a late-race caution on lap 45 erased Hill's advantage over Dillon.

 

After cooling the tires down circulating the high banks under caution, could Dillon mount a challenge on Hill to contend for the win, or might Jacobsen become a contender?

 

With the green flag waving, Hill mashed the gas pedal racing off the fourth turn to leave Dillon and Jacobsen to fight it out for the runner-up position. Jacobsen got to the inside of Dillon on lap 46 to make the pass moving into second-place.

 

Hill recorded the $5,000 victory over Jacobsen, Dillon, Brett Miller and Douglas. Completing the top-10 finishers were Chad Ogle, Kerry Jones, Jeff Neubert, Travis Greer and Bryan Hendrix.

"This is what it’s all about - winning", said Hill with a smile on his face after climbing from his car in victory lane. "After running another racing chassis brand for the past several years, back over the winter we switched to running Warrior Race Cars for 2011. We've really had a good car at most all races this season, but just crazy circumstances have either caused us to have problems or drop out of races. Our race results really aren't indicative of how well we've run. So it’s really a good deal here tonight to be able get the victory".

 

"Hopefully winning tonight will give us some momentum as we head into the next couple of weeks as we travel around the Southeast competing in the Southern Nationals Series, where we'll run 10 races in the span of 13 days," Hill added. "I want to thank Shawn Gage for all he does in working on the race car during the week at the shop and at the track on race night, plus the guys (Jason Lawson, David Smith and Wade Ayers) back at the race engine shop. And I can't forget the support from my wife, Christa.”

 

Johnson City's Dale Ball, defending two-time Fastrak Racing Series-sanctioned Crate Late Model track champion, jumped into the lead at the start of the 25-lap feature over Jerry Broyles and Forrest Trent. The event's first caution flag appeared only three laps in when fifth-running Todd Brooks had a tire go down and he slowed.

 

For the Delaware double-file restart, Ball was all alone out front with Broyles and Trent lined up behind him. Immediately back under green, Mike Smith got under Trent racing between turns one and two. Over the next two circuits they raced side-by-side before Smith got past Trent to move into third behind leader Ball and Broyles.

 

Rookie driver Tim Maupin, who began racing a Crate Late Model this season as teammate to Ball following a very successful career as a professional ATV quad racer, battled with Ricky Moore for the fifth spot until taking the position as they raced off the fourth turn on lap eight. While Ball was in control riding out front, Broyles was feeling pressure from Smith for the second spot in running order. Lap 13 proved to be an unlucky number for Broyles, as he was overtaken by Smith for the runner-up position.

 

With Ball holding a half-straightaway lead over Smith, Broyles and Trent, the caution waved on lap 15 when Richard Adkins spun in turn two. A strong run inside the top-five for Trent ended while under caution when he pulled into the infield pits with mechanical issues.

 

Back under green for a 10-lap sprint to the checkers, Ball once again began to distance himself from his closest challengers en route to capturing his fourth victory of the season. Chasing Ball to the checkers were Smith, Broyles, Maupin, and Brooks, who made a strong run back up through the field following his early race flat tire to get around Moore for the fifth spot at the finish.

 

 

July 9 - Volunteer Speedway Summer Sizzler
1) Vic Hill, 2) Eric Jacobsen, 3) Austin Dillon, 4) Brett Miller, 5) Mark Douglas, 6) ChadOgle, 7) Kerry Jones, 8) Jeff Neubert, 9) Travis Greer, 10) Bryan Hendrix

Fast Time (10 entries): Dillon (12.259)

Michael Moats photo

 

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