May 23, 2017- Sometimes confidence comes from knowing what you know. After last week we decided our next move would be to go back to our roots; to what we knew worked last year which gave us both an extra boost of confidence. While working on the Hile Motorsports cars last week we flipped to last year’s set-ups and applied those changes to both the 5H and 25H.
Friday the Lightning Management 5H headed off to Brewerton ready to roll! However, sometimes you have to remember how much time and money you actually invest in your racing career. Sometimes you have to make the conscious decision that the beating your equipment will take isn't worth the purse. That's exactly how we viewed Friday night. With rough track conditions we concluded that it would be best to pull off early hoping that Mother Nature would cooperate and give the track another week to dry out. In this situation you really can't blame anyone in particular. With the wet spring we've had it's incredible that we are even able to get on the track. As you all know several tracks have had to cancel their shows based solely on wet grounds.
Saturday was looking to be much nicer and upon arriving at the track we could all see the track was looking like an old friend; the typical smooth slick Fulton Speedway. Both the Lightning Management 5H and the 1911 Established ® 25H were ready to do battle. After going back to our roots this week and setting the cars up like we knew had worked in the past, we were both feeling confident as we lined up for heat races. This proved to be the right move as both the 25H and 5H qualified through their heats. Chris even turned the fastest lap of the evening in the 5H machine during his heat! As we lined up for the feature we were both feeling like this would be a good night!
Even though Katelyn lined up in front of Chris, Chris was quickly battling for the lead with his 5H. Katelyn kept her 25H solid in the top 10 for the majority of the night before eventually falling back to 12th. Chris also would fade slightly in the closing laps to finish 6th. Both are ready for next week knowing what small changes they need to do to improve on this week.
Sunday was a little crazier than normal. Chris and the 5H were preparing to race Monday at the Weedsport Speedway so on top of normal wash duties we had to turn an entire car around. Weekly maintenance on a car can be cumbersome, so getting a car ready for the next race in a short day is truly a team effort. Additionally, the Hile Motorsports clan made plans to help World of Outlaw Sprint Car driver Jason Sides Sunday at Weedsport. After meeting Jason and his brother Paul last year at World Finals we have kept in contact and offered our assistance to Jason as he was at Weedsport with little help Sunday. The Sides clan are truly genuine people! Unfortunately right before his heat, the rain came and Weedsport was forced to postpone their WoO show.
Even though Monday was race day, it was back to work for all of us. I'm sure we were all eye-balling the weather report all day and when Weedsport finally called their Big Block Monday show we knew this was setting up to be an easy week!
The 5H is already ready to roll for this weekend and the 25H is a few hours away from being ready as well! Hopefully the weather changes a little as it looks like Friday may be a little soggy.
So your probably wondering what racers do with a day or two of free time? Well we've gotta go support our local AHL team in their eastern conference finals and will be attending the Crunch Game tomorrow night. Long story short- we are always up to something, even if it's not always preparing for the next race!
As always stay up to date with everything Hile Motorsports at www.HileMotorsports.com.
May 15, 2017- This past weekend the Hile Motorsports Lightning Management 5H and 1911 Established® 25H opened their weekly points seasons at both the Brewerton and Fulton Speedways. Race season had officially arrived and although the weather wasn't ideal for mid-May both tracks were able to complete their scheduled shows.
The first race of the season always adds a little stress for the drivers as they have to draw for their starting positions. This is unlike the rest of the year where drivers are lined up based on a handicapping system which averages the driver’s last 3 finishes. From this average, drivers are lined up for their heat race starting spots and feature starting spots (if they qualify through the heat). If you asked any driver in the pits I'd bet a good majority would rather not line up based solely off a draw. It seems like we always draw bad when it comes to pulling a number that sets the pace for your night. This weekend was no different as Chris drew 35 out of 40 for both nights and Katelyn didn't do much better. Both the 5H and 25H were slated to start deep in their qualifying heats.
However, Chris and Katelyn took this as an opportunity to try to tweak their usual set-ups. It's pretty hard to willingly stray away from something that's working when you have a decent starting position and a good shot of finishing well. But when you are starting deep and you know nearly all the cars will make the show it's a little easier to stray from the status quo and try something you’ve been thinking about for a while.
In a perfect world, we'd like to say our courage paid off and we greatly improved on our starting positions. However, we knew we were going to learn from either outcome. Unfortunately, we learned that thinking outside the box is not always best, but a learning experience nonetheless.
Friday night the 5H made it up to 8th before finally settling in 11th and Saturday night Chris again cracked the top 10 before fading back to 15th. Katelyn also had some early success as she moved up in the feature before fading towards the end and retiring to the pits early for a mechanical issue.
Although the finishes were not what we were hoping for, we look forward to next weekend. No matter the outcome we always take what we learned in previous weekend's as building blocks for the next.
Additionally the Hile Motorsports team had other success as Katelyn had her 25H in the grandstands at Brewerton hosting a very successful 1911 Established® Hard Cider tasting. Fans enjoyed four of the 1911 Established® Hard Cider flavors including their sweeter blueberry and raspberry flavors, their new grapefruit flavor and the classic original hard cider that is also available all season long at the Brewerton and Fulton Speedways. At the end fans enjoyed over 200 samples of cider and 135 of you even entered our raffle! Congrats to our two raffle winners (Amy and Randy) who will be picking up there 1911 apparel and Brewerton Speedway tickets/ 1911 Established® gift card respectively.
As always you can stay up to date with all things Hile Motorsports on www.HileMotorsports.com.
May 8, 2017- I think it’s safe to say this weekend was a total washout. And seeing the temperatures in the forecast as well I can’t say I was the least bit upset. Washing racecars in the rain isn’t the most fun thing to do; washing in the COLD rain just adds that much more “fun” in the mix. This weekend sure felt more like fall than spring!
Rainouts on Friday nights for Hile Motorsports is tough; although we’d like to make the most out of a night off, we have to keep in mind Saturday is our busiest day of the weekend since both the Lightning Management 5H and 1911 Established ® Hard Cider 25H hit the track on Saturdays. With that being said when Friday rained out we simply were looking forward to that as a night to recoup and recharge.
However, when Fulton also pulled the plug a day early, we knew it was a matter of time before the weekend plans started flowing in. What better way to spend a rained-out weekend than with your fellow competitors! It seems like our racing family is so close that no weather can stand in the way of us spending time together!
Before we nailed down plans for Saturday night there was one thing Chris and I wanted to do. This weekend just so happened to be 1911 Apple Hill Campus’s opening weekend and part of this weekend’s festivities including free cider tastings. Since we now had the time to check out the tasting room and all of the 1911 Established ® Founder’s Reserves Flavors (including new released flavors) we couldn’t pass up the opportunity! All of the hard ciders were so good it is hard to really pick our favorite, but if we had to choose I’d say Chris and I are partial to the 1911 NY Hopped Hard Cider, but we definitely encourage each of you to try all the flavors for yourself at 1911’s Apple Hill this summer. You can even try them when you are their visiting us and our cars on Sunday June 4th!
Later Saturday we gathered with our racing family and enjoyed the night as anyone would listening to a local band, catching up and having a few cold ones. It really doesn’t matter what we do, we always have a good time!
Looking forward we are going to try again to get the regular season underway as both Chris and the Lightning Management 5H and Katelyn and the 1911 Established ® Hard Cider 25H will be in attendance at both the Brewerton and Fulton Speedways. Hopefully Mother Nature is on board with our plans this weekend too!
As originally planned last week, this Friday Katelyn and the 1911 Established ® Hard Cider team will be hosting a hard cider tasting the Brewerton Speedway and raffling off prizes in the grandstand area.
As always stay up to date with the Hile Motorsports latest happenings at www.HileMotorpsorts.com.
May 1, 2017- This past weekend the Hile Motorsports team was back home at the highbanks of Fulton Speedway. To say we were excited to be home was an understatement as I can assure you work Friday seemed to drag out extra slow for the both of us!
Friday night was a night for us to relax and eye-out what we could expect track conditions to be the following night. Fulton's track crew really worked wonders as conditions were smooth and dry-slick providing for exciting racing all weekend long.
We got to try something a little different Friday night as it was Sam Reakes Snap-on Tools night and with Sam racing in the Empire Super Sprints show his Snap-on truck seat was vacant and needed a driver to pace the field. We even got to watch from the infield! A truly incredible experience seeing the cars fly by, you track photographers are nuts!!
Saturday started off more like a fall day as temperatures made the event feel more like the Outlaw 200 without the sail panels. It is crazy how we can go from one extreme to another in a few hours here in Central New York. Knowing the Super DIRTcar Series lined up by time trials the draw was a little less stressful than normal, but the hot laps and time trial rotations that followed quickly made the entire Hile Motorsports Team very busy!
They say when you start of behind the eight-ball it can be hard to catch up and boy did that play true Saturday. Over the winter Chris and Katelyn worked hard to improve on their set-ups from last season, but with no real practice at Fulton one minor set-up changed proved to not be the hot ticket Saturday. As a result the Lightning Management 5H and 1911 Established ® Hard Cider both had to start deep in their qualifying heat.
Chris was able to drive the 5H up through the qualifying field and secured a spot in the 100 lap main event, just shy of a re-draw position. Unfortunately Katelyn and the 25H weren't as lucky as she found her way to the last chance showdown where a few mistakes kept her from qualifying.
Chris and the 5H machine seemed to be holding steady at 15th but ultimately retired from the race early when he became part of lapped traffic with 10 to go.
Both the 5H and 25H showed speed throughout the night setting up a solid foundation for the season ahead.
Looking forward both Chris and the Lightning Management 5H and Katelyn and the 1911 Established ® Hard Cider 25H are ready to get their regular season underway this weekend at both the Brewerton and Fulton Speedways.
As an extra incentive to stop by the Brewerton Speedway this Friday Katelyn and the 1911 Established ® Hard Cider team will be hosting a hard cider tasting and raffling off prizes in the grandstand area.
As always stay up to date with the Hile Motorsports latest happenings at www.HileMotorpsorts.com.
This past weekend the Hile Motorsports Lightning Management 5H and 1911 Established Hard Cider ® 25H took to the track for the first time in 2017. Although attending Utica Rome Speedway’s home opener, this served only as a test session for the team to prepare for their home track’s (Fulton Speedway) opener this coming weekend (April 29th), which is also the first Super DIRTcar Series race of 2017.
Going into this weekend the goal was simple; knock the dust off and make sure everything is working properly on both cars. Chris and Katelyn were very busy this offseason rebuilding each car and freshening their power plants. Although the motors have been tested on the dyno, it is always best to test the entire car to ensure nothing was overlooked and above all else to get back into the rhythm of race season. (I can tell you personally that preparing for the first race always takes a little longer as we get back into the swing of things and ensure we have the trailer fully loaded and ready to roll).
Little did we know, even after all the wet weather that has graced Central New York over the past several weeks that we would literally be kicking the dust up. Upon preparing for hot laps, we witnessed some of uncharacteristic dusty conditions when the support classes hit the track. This was confirmed when the 5H and 25H took to the track. Under normal circumstances, a dirt track can be dusty and fans and drivers alike usually go home with a layer of dirt, however, this was something else. As a result, the hot lap session was less than ideal nonetheless both cars were able to get up to speed for a portion of the session so both Chris and Katelyn could prepare for their qualifying runs.
Hats off to the track crew for getting the track into as best shape as possible for an early spring race. Both the 5H and 25H were able to get more laps on their machines, but after qualifying both decided it was best to load up and start looking towards the weekend ahead.
This coming weekend you can catch both the Chris Hile Lightning Management 5H and Katelyn Hile 1911 Established Hard Cider ® 25H at the Fulton Speedway in Volney, NY on Saturday April 29th. Racing is set to get underway at 3:45pm. Stay up to date with Hile Motorsports by visiting www.HileMotorsports.com.
Some may be complaining about the summer heat this year, but we see it as perfect racing weather. The warm days cool down to comfortable nights creating the perfect conditions for race fans and drivers alike. Going into this past weekend the weather was again shaping up to be ideal for racing.
Friday night at the Brewerton Speedway started out like any other. As a result of Chris’s consistency this year we all knew he would be again starting deep in the field and would have to again drive up through the field to secure another solid run. As the race got underway the 5H machine again began to make its way through the field. However, misfortune struck during the closing laps of the race. Chris, who was running 6th at the time tried to make a late race pass on a fellow competitor causing his car to jump the opponent's tire and sending the 5H machine sideways coming to a stop out of turn 2. Staring from the tail with only a few laps remaining, Chris and the 5H ended the night with one of his worst finishes of the year, 18th. Remaining in good spirits after the race he said he had to try to better his finish and just like that it was on to Saturday night.
Saturday night both Hile Motorsports cars were ready to hit the track. Both Katelyn and the 25H and Chris and the 5H showed strong runs during their qualifying heats resulting in Katelyn starting 4th in the feature and Chris starting 9th. As the night went on Katelyn faded a little ending up 13th for the night. Chris on the other hand was able to recover from his misfortune the night before and finished a very strong 3rd. By the end of the night the 5H machine was turning the fastest laps on the track, but ran out of time to catch the leaders.
As we turn the page on July we are both ready to close out the points season with more strong runs! Hile Motorsports is onto another normal weekend assault August 5th and 6th before more Super DIRTcar series races come around during the week the next few weeks (Tuesday August 9th at Weedsport Speedway and Wednesday August 17th at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park).
Mid-week shows never allow time to recover. But apparently recovery was the last thing Chris Hile and the 5H machine needed heading into the weekend. After the Hile Motorsports team decided to come home from the west Super DIRTcar tour a day early skipping the last stop on the way back at Sharon Speedway, Chris and the 5H were more than ready to go at the Brewerton Speedway Friday night. Chris took what he learned on the road and applied it to the 5H’s set-up Friday. After starting deep in the field, the 5H showed a very strong run finishing in 3rd and securing Chris solidly in the top 5 in points for another week.
Off to Fulton, both Hile Motorsports cars were ready to go after the already successful weekend. Katelyn and the 25H machine would suffer some misfortune in the heat just missing a qualifying spot causing her to start deep in the field in 20th. But she would prove that she could recover driving through the field to 14th.
Now usually a strong Friday night run can go one of two ways. You can either back it up with another solid run or you can all but wipe your memory of the good run. Fortunately, again Chris and the 5H showed that traveling and experimenting at new tracks proves good to the set-up book. Chris even showed the Fulton Speedway crowd a few new passing lanes he had developed on the road and threw a few slide jobs throughout the night to end up finishing in the top 5 yet again.
With the week of traveling behind them, it was safe to say that team Hile Motorsports was looking forward to a typical maintenance week reflecting on the good fortune they had.
When we set out for Eldora, we really had two main goals in mind: make both shows and keep everything in one piece so we could continue our weekly points assault at both the Brewerton and Fulton Speedways. Of course going onto a big stage like Eldora and given the history behind the legendary speedway we always push for more, but at the end of the day these two races were not going to define our season. Showing up Monday afternoon for the Tuesday race, we were all pleasantly surprised in the amount of Modifieds that made the long haul to Rossburg, OH. We were also excited to see many fellow competitors and factory representatives we hadn’t seen in a while. The weather forecast for our 2-day show looked great on paper; little did we know how hot it would really be. The Rossburg Ohio heat was comparable to sitting on a beach in the Caribbean, and being out among corn fields there was nowhere to hide from the sun beating down.
Tuesday, the Chris Hile 5H machine was slated to go off in a very tough heat. The qualifying time the 5H machine ran within his group would have easily been a quick time in any of the other 5 groups, but unfortunately only proved to give Chris a mid-pack starting position within his group’s qualifying heat. This starting position ended up writing our ticket to the last chance qualifying event where we improved on the set-up in hopes of making the Tuesday night Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modified event. We knew if we couldn’t make the Tuesday night show all chances of being invited to the Wednesday night exhibition with the NASCAR Camping World Trucks were done. Starting deep in the last chance qualifier, Chris and the 5H powered through the field securing his starting spot in the main. After battling through adversity and needing an early tire change forcing the 5H to start tail in the main event, Chris and the 5H would end up finishing with a solid 17th. Additionally, the 5H would secure his spot in the Wednesday night invitational by taking the last spot on the roster as a result of his finishing spot.
If we thought Tuesday was a hot day, we were quickly reminded how much hotter it could be by Wednesday’s heat. At that point everyone was feeling the heat, including the cars which were nearly all battling overheating problems throughout the day and night. Chris and the 5H again would put up a strong battle and finish 18th as a result of overheating issues.
Given the amount of talented Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified teams who made the treck to the famed Eldora Speedway to be on the same stage as the NASCAR Camping World Trucks it was an honor for the 5H to be one of the 24 cars that competed in both shows, especially taking into consideration nearly 60 made the haul. Although results did not exactly meet our expectations given the year we are having at our home tracks, the experience we took from traveling to a new track only better prepares us for our trip next year!
Going into this weekend we were already planning the days after it as we gear up to take the Chris Hile 5H to Eldora Speedway. But sometimes when you overlook something you can be quite surprised and that's exactly what we got!
This weekend was shaping up to be perfect for racing action both Friday night at the Brewerton Speedway and Saturday night at the Fulton Speedway. With 2 weeks since new clay was laid down at Brewerton we came into Friday with hopes of a smooth track knowing that new clay can rough a place up until it has fully cured. Unfortunately we didn't get the typical Brewerton smooth track but we really have to hand it to the track crew who were able to keep the track as smooth as possible given the circumstances.
Going into the night Chris and the 5H sat in 6th in the season point standings and at halfway through the season we are all pretty excited to see where the second half of the season will lead us. Given the new track conditions we knew all drivers were going to be chasing setups. Chris was able to battle through attrition and hold onto 8th place propelling him to 4th in the overall point standings.
Going into Saturday night at Fulton Speedway we all joked that the 25H was due for a hat trick after breaking in hot laps the past 2 weeks. Fortunately Katelyn was able get that monkey off her back and completed hot laps without any misfortune. After the heats both Hile Motorsports cars were questioning what setups they would ultimately want for the feature as track conditions were a little different than normal. Both Chris and Katelyn decided on slightly different feature setups. Katelyn and the 25H would start on the pole and Chris and his 5H would go away midpack. At the halfway point of the feature the 25H was still holding strong in 3rd. With 5 to go after getting stuck behind a lap car Katelyn was still showing a strong run in 4th and would ultimately lose 4th on the last lap finishing a Modified career-best 5th. Chris and the 5H would end up 12th.
As I said before sometimes when you overlook something you can be surprised. If you had asked me after the heat where I would've predicted the 25H to finish I would've said that I'd be lucky to stay with the pack. Never did I think my career best finish would come this weekend!
Although we are leaving my 25H home this week as we take the 5H west to Eldora, I am not too upset as it gives me more time to enjoy this career milestone! Here's to hoping we can see more top 5's in the near future!
Stay tuned to #HileMotorsports social media to see how Chris and the 5H do at the Eldora Speedway!
Mother Nature had every intention on raining on our parade this past weekend. Friday the Hile Motorsports 5H pulled into the Brewerton Speedway just in time for the flood gates to open and the rain to pour down canceling Friday's show. Although we are never truly happy to see a rainout it is nice to know the new clay surface at the Brewerton Speedway will have another week to cure and with the night off the Hile Motorsports team had the opportunity to catch up on shop work.
Saturday looked to be shaping up to be the same as Friday with rain showers forecasted just as teams would be showing up at the Fulton Speedway. However, forecasts can change in an instant and somehow we dodged a majority of the showers. Both the 5H and 25H were ready to go hitting the track for hot laps. Unfortunately the 25H did not fair too well during the hot lap session breaking drive train components. As the Hile Motorsports team was working to repair the 25H a few rain showers passed through giving the team the extra time to get everything squared away for the heat. Katelyn and the 25H had a very strong 2nd place heat race finish overcoming the problems faced during hot laps. Chris and the 5H also proved he was more than ready to get the weekend underway qualifying for the feature. Even with the bleak forecast the track made sure to take the time for their biggest supporters- the fans by still holding autograph night during the intermission. This gives the fans an opportunity to see their favorite cars and drivers up close. Just as features were being called another brief shower put the show on rain delay. We all thought this was it but the track crew was able to jump into action saving the track. Katelyn and the 25H would start on the pole and Chris and the 5H was slated to start 12th. Both cars remained in the top 10 majority of the race until a late race caution proved beneficial for Chris and disadvantageous for Katelyn as Chris would come home in a strong 6th and Katelyn would tie her season best after fading to 13th.
This weekend will be another regular show at both the Brewerton and Fulton Speedway followed by week day shows for Chris and the 5H at the legendary Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH supporting the NASCAR Camping World Truck Mudsummer Classic event.