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!