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.