For any race teams out there looking for a place to pick up an easy win in any division, Hilltop is probably not your best bet. For race fans looking for strong fields of cars and plenty of 3 and even 4 wide racing action, you owe it to yourself to be at Hilltop every chance you get. The 2017 season is still very young but there's been no shortage of kickass racing in Millersburg. This place has always been known as the best place for side by side racing for good reason. Money won't get you to the front at this place, you will have to battle some of the very best on dirt just to see the front of the pack, especially in the Late Model division. This past week Hilltop hosted a qualifier race for the Jim Dunn Memorial event and that meant more money on the line along with even more talent taking to the track. The Late Model Dash was one of the best shows I've seen in many years with the pack running up to 4 wide the entire race. JR Gentry would continue his recent strong streak by picking up the Dash win over Markham, Conley, Kinkade, Drown, and Duncan. Gentry and Markham would battle early for the lead in the feature but Corey Conley once again had his Kryptonite ride dialed in and wasted no time running them down to take the lead away from Markham. Once Conley had the lead the battles were all behind him and they were plentiful throughout the field. Gentry, Markham, and Drown would all battle for position as that kid from West Virginia quietly worked his way into the mix. Tyler Carpenter may have brought his steel block car, but that wasn't gonna hold him back. Getting to Doug Drown and passing him would be two very different challenges for Carpenter. Tyler patiently worked the bottom for a few too many laps but with the white flag in site he decided to give the top groove a try. I'm sure Drown was as shocked as any of us were just how quick Carpenter went around him on the high side to finish 4th. Who knows where he would have finished had he jumped to the top earlier, but that's racin' as they say. Conley notched yet another win on "The Hill" and Gentry would have to settle for 3rd this week after picking up the hard fought win over Conley the week before.
The Modifieds put on one hell of a show of their own with plenty of door to door battle. They were running for extra cash and a quaranteed starting spot in the Jim Dunn show as well. They kicked off their 25 lap feature with a 3 wide battle for the lead between Jimmy Smith, John Sluka, and Nathan Loney. Loney would slip to 3rd before eventually spinning and going to the tail. That would leave Smith and Sluka to battle for the win and that's exactly what they did. They used every inch of the racing surface to fight it out every lap with Sluka working the bottom while Smith tried to wide the track around the top without climbing the wall. Smith would narrowly pick up the win when the checkers flew but it was probably one of his hardest earns win in his his career. DJ Cline, Chris Basich, and George Lee would all put on great battles behind the top two and finish in that order.
With a $200 bounty on Kyle Moore in the Street Stocks I honestly expected a stronger field to show up for the challenge, but no such luck. Bob Daugherty was busy picking up the win at Wayne County over Paul Holmes, and one of the newcomers had engine problems right off the trailer. This week will bring a new challenge for Moore as he has been offered a bonus if he starts on the tail and picks up the win. Unless the field grows from last week, this may not be much of a challenge but it should be fun to watch. I reckon this is what happens when one car dominates a division.