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Very Interesting End To 2014 Season
 by Bob on Wednesday, Oct 22nd
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DFC Racing

There was certainly no shortage of excitement and drama as this racing season came to an end. Hilltop finished up in a huge way with their "Weekend On The Hill" event. The place was absolutely packed on both nights and the level of competition was taken to a whole new level on Saturday night in the Late Model division. When guys like Markham, Duncan, Lee, and Gentry are simply cars in the field that finished a lap or more down, it tells you that this was one hell of a show. This feature went caution free for the entire 35 laps and that allowed Fast Freddy Carpenter to "put a real ass whoopin' on them boys" as Dave Ledford put it. Folks, Carpenter has raced here often but during this feature he really put on a clinic for all others including Devon Moran on how to get around Hilltop while using every inch of the track surface while not touching another car. DAMN, that was something to see! Sadly we lost Dave Ledford not long after this show, but at least he was treated to one of the very best races I've ever seen and he truly enjoyed it.

On the asphalt side of things the drama really went into high gear as Mike Miller was looking to close out the season and possibly his career with yet another track championship. Leading the points for most of the season, it sure looked like that kind of year for him but the final weeks brought plenty of challenges. Engine failures would eat up nearly all of his points lead by championship night which was a double points night. A very controversial decision by the folks at Midvale would keep Mike from qualifying and from there it was clear that he wouldn't be allowed to win the championship no matter what he pulled off the rest of the night. For the second year in a row Miller would have a championship yanked out of his hands in the final race of the season. Last year it was at Barberton Speedway that the championship was stolen during the final feature event. At least he got even by winning their big show at the end of the year and took home all the cash after that heart breaker.

At least one Miller closed out the 2014 season on a very high note. Did you dirt folks ever wonder what ever happened to the fella that won the very first Late Model Season Championship at Wayne County Speedway way back in 1966? Well that fella is none other than Mike Miller's father, now known as Pappy Miller. This guy has one of those racing histories that most racers can only dream of, and raised a family of drivers with similar records. Pappy kicked off his racing career in 1952 at the Akron Rubber Bowl in a Hudson Hornet. He raced both asphalt and dirt before unofficially hanging up his helmet in 1990. Mostly known to drive Mopars this Miller also picked up several track championships and held many track records including WCS and Barberton in 1966. Most people find it hard to believe but the night before winning that first Late Model Season Championship at WCS, he also pick up the track championship at Barberton Speedway with the very same car. Going from that 1/4 mile asphalt bullring on one night, and onto WCS the next night to pull off that stunt should tell you a little something about the level of talent in this driver! How many drivers could pull that off nowadays? During Pappy's career he raced at roughly 14 different tracks, often running 2 tracks each week. More than once he had 20 or more wins in one season, and finished up with nearly 200 feature wins along with many special events. So,,,, what the hell ever happened to Pappy Miller you may ask. Well on September 13th he was invited to race in the staff race at Midvale Speedway and the old fella jumped at the chance. This wasn't your typical staff race as this time all of the cars were identical retired sheriff cruisers so it would be up to the drivers instead of the cars to make a difference. Other staff members may have raced in their past too, but none of the others were Millers. Pappy didn't seem to lose anything over the years as he showed those youngsters how to get around Midvale while picking up the win. Way to go "Old Timer"! When I got the chance to introduce Pappy to my granddaughter recently I explained that this very man in front of her had not only won the first track championship at WCS in 1966, but he had also just won another race just weeks ago. At first she thought "crazy old grampa" was pulling her leg, but once she was convinced it was true, you could really see the wheels in her head turning. She thought that was " the coolest racing story she's ever heard" and "now she's met a real racing legend". Grampa agrees without a doubt!

Now watch & learn youngsters. Pappy has his helmet dusted off and he's ready to give some lessons! ;-)



Racing Loses A Hall Of Famer, I Lose A Hero
 by Bob on Tuesday, Sep 30th
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DFC Racing

It's always tough to get the news when racing loses a driver that helped make this sport what it is today, but when I got the call today about Dave Ledford passing away, I struggled to take it all in. First of all, this man was one of my early racing heroes and not just because of his talents on the track. Dave had a heart of gold and anybody that was blessed to know him, would certainly agree. Need a hand with your car no matter what class you ran? Dave was there. Need a tire for the feature? Dave was there. Need a good ol' boy to shoot the shit with between races? Dave was there. Look towards the front of the pack at Lakeville, Wayne County, and countless other tracks, and you'd find Dave there too. Even after he hung up his helmet and fire suit I truly enjoyed getting to talk with Dave about old times and I'm thankful that at least I got the chance to tell him that he was one of my all time heroes. He looked at me like I was nuts of course but I explained why. As a teenager I always looked up to him as what a racer should be. Tough as nails behind the wheel, but once the helmet came off, this guy would give you his engine and help you swap it if it got you back out onto the track. My dad has always thought the world of Dave for the same reasons and it was hard to break the news to him while he struggles with his own health issues. Through the tears he managed to say "that's a damn shame. He was a class act and they just don't make them like him any more" I couldn't agree more Pop! If there were more Dave Ledfords in racing, we'd all be better off. Rest in peace my friend!

THANKS to Kathy Richards for the picture.



It's Almost Over Folks!
 by Bob on Tuesday, Aug 12th
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DFC Racing

It's pretty hard to believe but the 2014 racing season is winding down in a big hurry. This Saturday night August 16th Hilltop Speedway will close the books on their regular season with Season Championship night. Damn, where did the season go? We've been treated each week with the best door to door action to be found in the area, and this week will surely be even more wild than normal as drivers scratch and claw for those final points. Pack up the family and friends and head to Millersburg for this one!

If ya just can't wait to see some action on "The Hill" there will be some other action there on Friday night August 15th when the Ohio Outlaw Motorsports gang rolls into town. For those that have never seen one of these bike/quad shows, I can honestly tell you it's worth the trip. It's always amazing to see these crazy bastards flying around our favorite race track at high speeds while battling elbow to elbow. These riders are just plain nuts and they truly enjoy putting on a kickass show for the crowd.

Hilltop action still won't quite be done this weekend either. The 6th annual Weekend On The Hill will take place September 12th & 13th. All divisions will have complete shows both nights along with plenty of more fun as always. This is always one hell of a show and a great way to end the racing season.

But wait, there's more! On September 20th the Ohio Outlaw Motorsports series return for yet another bike/quad show. This will be your last chance to get your Hilltop fix for 2014 so you sure as hell don't wanna miss this one. Be there or be square! ;-)



A Very Special Night For This Old Fart And Pretty Good For Bob Daugherty Too
 by Bob on Monday, Jun 16th
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DFC Racing

The highlight of any recent racing season for me is when I get to take my granddaughter along to the track. We usually take the ride to Deerfield and I'm sure we'll get there too before too long, but this week it was finally time to take her to Hilltop Speedway. I think she was getting tired of hearing about the place and all the great drivers there, and she REALLY needed to experience it for herself. Without taking her in the pits she was still able to meet some of you folks I enjoy hanging out with every week and she got quite a kick out of it. Thanks to all of you that took the time to chat with her. It made a huge impression on this wonderful little girl. A special thanks goes out to Rory Reed for taking some time to sit with us in the stands for a while. She may have been a bit shy while he was there but Rory now has a fan for life. She picked up a few new heroes Saturday night and cheered for them like she's never done before. The Mini Wedge drivers may have made more of an impression than I would have liked. She's already asking me to build her one and even has the color scheme all worked out. Oh, and she wants it to be really fast too. ;-) She loved the side by side action Hilltop provides in every class and she was pleasantly surprised that she didn't need to wear her goggles to keep the dust out of her eyes. What can I say, her mom took her to another area track recently and goggles were certainly needed.

Probably her favorite race of the night was the Street Stock feature. She became a huge fan of Bob Daugherty earlier in the evening and the feature was quite a thrill for her. Alright, I enjoyed the hell out of it too, but she screamed louder than me when Daugherty took the lead. ;-) This race had most of the crowd on their feet and for good reason. While the 2 car of Kyle Moore started up front, Daugherty lined up in the 4th row with some damn stout competition between him and Moore. It was easy to wonder if Moore would get away before Bob would work his way through the field. That question was answered in just a few laps as Daugherty took to his favorite groove on the bottom and went to work. Caution flags seemed to be the only thing stopping the 21 car from taking the lead and under each caution the ol' veteran pulled beside the younger Moore and you just knew he was getting into his head a bit. We all know it doesn't take much to get Kyle to overdrive the car and that little extra encouragement wasn't gonna make his night any easier. In turn 4 Daugherty finally made the pass for the lead and Moore went pitside to change a tire. That put him on the tail of the lead lap and we all knew the fireworks were gonna really start on the drop of the green. We were right as Moore proceeded to shorten, lighten, and narrow his car while working his way back to the front. Damn, somebody better check those guard rails during the week because he worked them over pretty damn good. Once he had Daugherty in sight it only seemed to get more intense and on the final corner a slam into the railing was probably the only thing keeping him from picking up the win. I guess the moral of this story is that you might be able to buy Moore car and Moore motor, but ya just can't buy Moore talent or experience. ;-) Congrats goes out to Bob Daugherty one one hell of a race. This guy has been been making up for early season engine problems by picking up $3000 in just the past 2 weeks. Not too shabby for the guy they call "Bottom Feeder Bob". If he keeps this up they'll be calling him "Bringing Home ALL The Money Bob"

Thanks again to all of you that helped to make some great memories for Angelena on Saturday night. You proved why we all love this sport as much as we do. It's made up of some of the best people you'll find anywhere!



Hilltop Packs The House For Autograph Night & 8 Divisions In Action
 by Bob on Tuesday, May 27th
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DFC Racing

Let's begin with a little rant. ....

Before the season even started, the threat of 2 area dirt tracks running on Saturday night had many rumors and ugly predictions flying. Personally, I had high hopes for Hilltop not just holding their own, but continuing to grow stronger. Sure it's been no cake walk and there's still plenty of the 2014 season left to go, but early indications are that treating racers and fans with respect and honesty really is the way to go. I won't go into all of the dirty details at this time but many of you already know about certain drivers and others being "rewarded" for their ummmmm "support" at the other place. Drivers flat out lying about track conditions at Hilltop have been exposed by online videos here and elsewhere too but that doesn't stop the ugly talk. Come on folks, when facts prove you to be full of shit, it kinda makes ya look silly after a while. While we're talking about making yourself look like an asshole, let's look at the latest brilliant move by that other Saturday night track. Within 24 hours of Hilltop Speedway announcing a big Sprint car show on a weekend that the other track wasn't running them, that other track decided they would now add Sprints to their show too. Gee, that doesn't seem too obvious as a dig at the competition does it? The trouble is that many of us have seen this bullshit before and it may have worked against a weaker track with less than motivated owners, but this isn't Lakeville this time folks. Buck and the entire staff, along with the weekly racers and fans, have worked very hard to improve Hilltop in any way they can, and they're damn sure not gonna roll over now. This isn't meant to start a pissing match between 2 race tracks, but I felt it was beyond time to expose some of the dirty games being played by one track against another. Dammit, this area can't afford any track deliberately working against another track again. It's time to work together and promote racing at ALL area tracks before we end up killing our favorite sport all together. If you agree, don't hesitate to contact the tracks and tell them that you want to see cooperation, not pissing matches. Just think how strong each track could be if they worked this hard to work together. The racers and fans are smart enough to see what's really going on and would really appreciate an honest effort to help each other in order to help them all.

Now to the racing action on Saturday night. The night was kicked off with the fans being turned loose in the pits to meet their favorite drivers and get some autographs and other goodies. It's always great to see the youngsters that will hopefully take to the track some day getting to meet their heros. The drivers also always do their best to return the support they get weekly from their loyal fans. A really nice twist is seeing the young drivers such as the Mini Wedge pilots signing autographs and playing the roll of hero to other kids and even many adults. How cool is that?

For the 4th show in a row, the track crew at Hilltop provided another great racing surface for the 122 cars in 8 divisions this week. They'd be sure to use every inch of it all night long too. When you think of using all of the track surface, the first name that comes to mind has got to be George Lee. In the feature he made rare use of the bottom groove to take the lead and then set out to clean off the guardrails the rest of the race. There was no catching this crazy bastard this week, although Duncan sure gave it all he had. In the final laps Mike Basich made great use of the bottom groove to sneak into second. A few more laps may have helped him reel in Lee, but then ya gotta get around him. That's no easy task but we"ll see what Basich and others have in mind next week.

All of the divisions put on great side by side shows as always too. The Mini Trucks were chasing $500 to win but the action looked more like they were chasing $5000. Damn, what a show! I wish I had the time to cover every class each week but work is always getting in my way. Maybe if you still haven't made the trip to Hilltop to witness this kickass action for yourself, it' time to get your butt to Millersburg this Saturday night. A few of my own customers will be making their first ever trip to a race track this week at Hilltop. They'll be treated to the best action to be found on dirt for sure, and the Modlites will be there too as an added bonus. BE THERE!!!



That Didn't Take Very Long!
 by Bob on Thursday, May 8th
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DFC Racing

So, where the hell was I last Saturday night seems to be a popular question this week. I took a trip to Midvale Speedway or "the dark side" as many of you folks call that asphalt racing stuff. Mother Nature tried her best to ruin our night but she failed. It was just the second night of racing action for the season at Midvale and I was shocked at the lack of a decent crowd. Come on people, the Smiths have put tons of money and hard work into providing the nicest facility in the area. Ya gott support the place now! Sure, the weather had something to do with it but this idiot left his house in a down pour to head to the track. When the night was over I can honestly say it was worth the trip too. Miller has only tried his new ride once before under race conditions and it's clear that this thing is a huge improvement over last years car, there's still room for improvement. That was the goal for this week, and it did get a little better. Better enough to qualify second, snag second in the heat race while tripping over the leader, and better enough to take home the feature win in fine Mike Miller style. The trip to the front of the pack was fairly uneventful, but once in the lead those damn double file restarts would make him work for this win. Fast qualifyer Randy Smart was the best challenge he had and they'd race side by side for a lap or two after the restart. Smart couldn't pull off the pass and dropped into line only to watch Mike drive away. A light sprinkle in the final laps would allow Smart to close the gap a bit but with the smell of the white flag in the air, Miller got back to work and drove away for the win. Damn, that was purrrrty!

I'm told I missed some great action and an awesome track surface at Hilltop Saturday night. You won't want to miss this Saturday on "The Hill" as the Late Models will be racing for $1500 to win. This field of Late Models has already proven to be too tough for at least one local driver on a weekly basis, and this week should be even stronger. It's pretty clear by now that if you're only interested in an easy win, this isn't the place you'll find it. It takes much more than a wide open throttle to win here!



Another Thrill Packed Night At Hilltop
 by Bob on Wednesday, Apr 30th
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DFC Racing

Since my boss made me work too late to make the trip to Midvale this week, I pointed the car towards the place I'd be sure to find the most action on dirt, Hilltop. It was obvious early on that Buck and the gang had put some extra effort into the track surface as it was smooth and dust free the entire night. Sure makes a person wonder why then the fastest qualifier in the Late Models would load up and head to another track to say just the opposite thing about the track surface. Hmmm,,, I smell something fishy here and talking to other drivers including some Modlite folks, I'm even more confused since they had absolutely no complaints. You need proof of track conditions? Check out the video for yourself at the following link to see the truth. Credit for the video goes to Colton Buchanan. Do ya see ANY dust or a rough track?


Things began to get a bit more clear as I got more details from other drivers this week and all I can say at this point is shame shame. Shady tactics will bite somebody in the ass eventually and they know who they are. Anyway, for those brave enough to stick around and do battle with the kickass field of Late Models would have their hands full in the feature. A certain threat to win was pitside before completing a lap when Carpenter suffered from a stuck throttle linkage. That would leave the others to try to show this Moran kid a thing or two. George Lee stepped up to the challenge and worked the guardrail,,,errrr,,,ummm,,, high groove to take away the front spot after several laps of door to door racing. Lapped traffic would cost Lee the lead but the crazy bastard never gave up. When the checkers flew it was Moran up front for the third time this year. Ya can't say he didn't earn this one though. Damn what a race!

The Modifieds hit the track next and seemed determined to put on an even better show. Up front it was Sluka fighting off the hard charging Wisecarver nearly every lap. Everytime Wisecarver thought he found a way around the #21 ride, the hole was closed up and sometimes in a not so polite way. ;-) Wisecarver finally made a power move coming down the backstretch to take the lead on the final lap but Sluka wasn't about to let this one slip by and battled back through turns 3 & 4. The sparks were flying at the stripe but Wisecarver would bring home the win this time. I have a strong feeling we're in for more drama in coming weeks with these two racers. There was of course plenty of great battle behind the leaders and after picking up a heat race earlier in the night, Rory Reed wheeled his ass off to snag a 4th place feature finish. It's about damn time Rory! ;-)

It's also about damn time Denny Shear got his car back on the track and it was great to see him back in action this week. Picking up a 4th place finish in your first night out there and especially against the field of cars this class has become is pretty damn nice watch. It may be nice to see ya in the stand each week Denny, but you just proved that you belong out there on the track instead. Let's see if "Mr. Consistency" can make his return this season.

On the asphalt side of things, Midvale finally kicked off their season and Mike Miller got to try out his new toy under racing conditions. It's clear that this car is a nice improvement over what he drove last year, but there's still more work to be done to squeeze out the perfect lap times. Already running faster than any laps he turned last year isn't gonna be enough for this veteran, and there's no slacking off until he's confident that he's getting everything possible out of the car each lap. That must be how he stacked up all those trophies over the years huh? I've already had a talk with that slave driver I work for and my plans are to get to Midvale even if I get fired this week.

Don't forget that there's 2 days of action at Hilltop Speedway this weekend. Saturday night you don't want to miss all divisions in action trying to be the ones putting on the most talked about race of the week. On Sunday gates open at 11:00 for the Autocross event brought to you by Pitt Stop. Racing kicks off at 1:00 PM and admission is just $10. BE THERE!!



The Secret Must Be Out!
 by Bob on Sunday, Apr 13th
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DFC Racing

Oh alright, it's no secret that the place to find the best 3 & 4 wide racing in this area is at Hilltop Speedway, but from the looks of the crowd last night it's clear that many of you have been sharing that information with others. It's just plain awesome to see such support for this place and the gang at Hilltop is always eager to return the favor. An overflowing parking lot for a regular weekly show is a problem that any track would be happy to have. Many many great fans showed up to make that happen Saturday night. With the much improved weather this week, car counts inched up a bit and the competition was as stout as ever. I'm convinced the drivers really take pride in the shows they provide each week and they damn sure should. The Late Models once again had the crowd on their feet most of the feature and I doubt anybody but Markham dared to guess the final result until the checkers flew. JR Gentry seemed to have the field covered but he had his hands full more than once from behind. With Duncan having problems and going to the tail, it looked like Gentry would sneak out the win by holding off Markham and others. Ryan Markham had other plans on the final restart and I'm told that Gentry had a rear caliper problem which only made the pass for the lead look more dramatic. Markham doesn't pick up the wins nearly as easy as he once did, but he was on a mission those final laps to take this one home. What a show! The Modifieds put on a great show of their own but the battles were all for second on back this time. Jesse Wisecarver rolled into Millersburg looking to get some extra seat time at Hilltop before the Renegade show coming up next week. It sure as hell didn't look like he needs any practice here. ;-) The Street Stocks refused to be out performed by any other division and the strong field put on one hell of a display of horsepower and racing on the edge attitudes. The fella they call Captain Smooth Brandon Gardner, showed how he got that name by fighting off everything Kyle Moore and others threw at him. If only Moore could have learned something about control while he was back there, the outcome could have been different. Nahhhh, there seems to be no changing this guys driving style after all these years. I just hope he has a damn good body panel sponsor. :-0

There was one scary moment last night when Jim Large had some health issues. I happened to be next him when he went down and signaled for help and the crew wasted no time taking care of business. The track announcers often brag about having the best safety crew around but folks, that's no bullshit. The Dzugan Fire & Rescue crew has been working area tracks for many years and I put alot of faith in these people. I can only hope that if I ever have major health issues it's at one of these tracks where they work. They might like to joke and have fun but they're all business when it counts. Hats off to ya crew! Best wishes go out to the Large family too. Get your butt back out there in that truck "young fella"!

By the way, don't forget that the Renegades Of Dirt come to Hilltop next Saturday April 19th. They're sure to bring some strong talent chasing that $3000 to win. Last year even Nascar legend Kenny Schrader made the trip for this one. All weekly divisons except Mini-Wedges will also be in action. BE THERE!!



Hilltop Kicks Off 2014 Season In Typical Form
 by Bob on Wednesday, Apr 9th
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DFC Racing

Mother Nature may have delayed the start of the 2014 season at Hilltop and she didn't exactly provide great weather this weekend but she couldn't stop the loyal Hilltop racers and fans from getting a great show in the books. This time of year is hell on dirt tracks as we all know by now so the track surface wasn't perfect but it was far from bad and it was fast. I heard drivers talking during hot laps about how it might be a one groove night on the bottom, but it sure as hell didn't turn out that way when it came to race time. Racers used every inch of the surface to put on the kickass 3 and 4 wide show this place has always been known for, and the fans used little of the seating in the final laps of each feature. That was some damn good racing folks and well worth braving the cold for. As an added bonus, the Modlites were also in action so we were treated to even more action to kick off the season.

The forecast is looking better for this Saturday night so you'll have no excuses if you miss the action this week. The schedule may call it a "regular racing event", but that just means we'll get another full night of side by side action unlike anything you'll find at any other area track. Also, don't forget about the Renegades Of Dirt show coming up on April 19th. That $3000 to win should bring plenty of great teams to take on Hilltops best. Be there!



Are You Ready Yet?
 by Bob on Sunday, Mar 16th
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DFC Racing

Those racing fumes are getting closer and closer folks and the gang down at Hilltop is in high gear already. They've been busting ass the past few weekends making preparations for the 2014 season which will begin next weekend with an open practice on Saturday and Autocross event on Sunday. Most would agree that track prep is at the top of the list of things to do and to do right, and Buck takes this very seriously. He's already got the heavy equipment in action and has looked at many ways to improve the racing surface this year. Anybody that ever doubted that Hilltop has been adding good clay to the track these past few years can clearly see the proof in the picture above. Clay is just the beginning, and just as important is the shape and layout of the track surface. Improvements will begin at the pit ramp onto the track and will include improved banking on the front stretch and a more level banking in those trouble areas through the turns. This place is already known for the best side by side racing in the area, and these improvements are aimed at stepping that up yet another notch. It would be easy for any track owner to take the surface and quality of their show for granted, but it's more than clear already that Buck isn't one of those people. This guy never stops looking for ways to improve any and all aspects of the show for racers and fans. Now it's up to the racing community to step up and support his efforts. I've said for many years that any racers or fans that have complaints or concerns can get the issues solved much easier by dealing directly with the track owners. They need and want to hear from you to clear things up in a positive way instead of the typical negative bashing online that gets nothing resolved. This track owner in particular is more than happy to address any concerns right away because his main goal is making his track the best it can be for everybody involved.

I dare to say that if every race track had an owner as motivated as Buck, they could all see improvements that benefit everybody while building a better future for area racing overall. Hell, maybe then they wouldn't turn into horse farms or something, Yep, I just went there! ;-)



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