My first memory of Chad Craver on a race track probably isn't a very good one. I remember racing against him in the first Enduro race at WCS and seeing him way too often. I'm not saying he was slow, but it was hard to tell him from the parked cars on the track. ;-) I even gave him a bit of a bump in the ass once to get this damn rookie out of my way. Well, that was then, and that "rookie" has come a very long way since that day. Not only has he learned to get around a dirt track, but he's now a threat every week for the win, no matter where he goes. That's saying alot considering the field of Pure Stocks he's up against. He's quietly worked his way to the top over the years with the help of his legendary father, and his own pure racer attitude. They've come this far the "old school" way too. Sure, they have a great source for the engine, but this certainly isn't some high budget team, like many of the top teams he's running against. These guys are racing with pure experience from the "old man", and just plain talent and desire from the fella behind the wheel. When I was talking with them recently, I was shocked to find out that Chad hasn't snagged a feature win yet. Sure, he's had his share of heat race wins, but the big one always seems to get away, as they say. That's exactly what happened this week at Hilltop. Just one slip yanked that win from his grasp once again. Well folks, as strong and consistent as this young gun has become, that big one can't hide much longer. Chad, your big night is coming, and very soon I think. I wanna see some celebration doughnuts too when it happens dammit!
In other racing news,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Hilltop once again put on a great show. There was a bit of ugliness in the Late Model heat race though. There's a driver out there that has become known as a weapon the past few weeks, and he upheld that title again this week by destroying at least 2 other cars on the first lap. For the second week in a row, Thomas Baker was one of his victims. Now, we all understand that shit happens on a race track, but when your overly aggressive driving style cost other people race cars on a regular basis, then you are a serious problem, and probably shouldn't be allowed to play with others on the playground. It really doesn't help when you don't have the balls to accept at least some of the blame for the damage. I just hope he finds another playground before he chases some of the real racers away from Hilltop.
As mentioned above, it sure looked like Chad Craver was going to pick up his first feature win, but one slip put him on the tail with only a few laps to go. He drove his ass off to get back to 4th when it was over. That run wasn't made any easier when he got to Denny Shear because he was tied up with his own 3 way battle. That was an awesome 4 way battle while it lasted. Jeff Facemire continued his pursuit of happiness with a setup and it looked like we're getting closer every race. Another top 10 in the feature and a whole night of keeping the car pointed in the right direction, says he's headed the right direction. Nobody expected him to set the world on fire this season, but I do believe he'll have his shit together quicker than other racers I've seen over the years. Just remember, smoother is faster,,,smoother is faster,,,,smoother is faster.....;-)
As a side note,,,,,
I'm told that some folks have bitched on message boards about no results for last week being posted on the Hilltop Speedway website. My first thought was, this must be great news. I mean if the only thing about a new race track that you have to bitch about is one week without updates, they sure as hell must be doing something right. Other tracks have had a terrible history of updating their websites over the years, not to mention many other problems. This is the first year for the new Hilltop and from what I can see, they've grown up faster than anybody could have expected. Sure, they'll have "growing pains" but they've sure as hell managed to do the things that matter all season long. They've treated the racers and fans better than I think any of us is used to. They've always done whatever it took to make sure the show gets run, and in a timely manner. They've been blessed with some of the best racers in the area which allows them to put on a kickass show every week, in every class. All of that gets done without manipulating line-ups and other bullshit I've witnessed elsewhere. Not even the "premier track in the area" can make that claim. As far as I'm concerned, I'd rather support a race track that worked harder on getting the show run smoothly and fairly, than one that only worries about impressing me with give-aways and such, while screwing me with a smile. The huge following of Hilltop supporters as well as the positive attitude from all of the employees says it all. They must be doing something right!!