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Kickass Racing Action Won't Be Ruined By A Few Assholes
 by Bob on Tuesday, Jun 19th
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DFC Racing If you missed the Race For Hunter on May 25th, you missed some of the very best racing I've seen in many years anywhere. 29 Late Models signed in to not only chase the $2500 to win along with other bonus money, but they did it for a great cause. The 30 lapper would give the fans 3 wide thrills throughout the entire field, including one hell of a fight for the lead. It looked like these guys were chasing a million dollars to win! They used every inch of the track and even a little bit of sheet metal to put on an amazing show that will be remembered for years to come. In the end it would be Jeremy Berwanger holding off Carpenter and others at the line. The battle for the win was very impressive but what followed was even more impressive to folks like me. All of the drivers stopped and got out of their rides for a group picture with Hunter himself. These same drivers just turned 30 laps all over each other rubbin' body panels and bumpers but the first thing they did was high five and hug each other, laughing the whole time. That was an awesome display of how REAL racers act and it's very much appreciated. Hats off to each and every one of you and thanks for a damn good show!

The past couple of weeks since that show have also provided the great side by side racing we all expect at Hilltop including Kyle Moore finally getting his shit together to pick up his first feature win of the season. He would go on to make it 3 in a row at different tracks. This past Friday night however started out with some ugliness during qualifying. I'll agree that the track was still too wet, but we all understand that will happen at a dirt track and it will only get better during the night. There is no money or points involved in qualifying so if you don't like the surface it's your choice to go out or not. The ugliness actually started when a driver known for his hissy fits got out of his car and went after a track official. Over the years this asshole has been able to get away with his childish actions but not this time. Now that Jesse Wardell has returned as Race Director, that shit has hopefully come to an end. Rick Mardis was told to load his car up which lead to a huge bullshit story being spread through the pits. Mardis, Wolford, Wilson, and their group of habitual cry babies told everybody that Wardell told all drivers they should load up and go home if they didn't like the way things are being run. That sure as hell didn't happen and I was standing feet away from the conversation. While the car may have been loaded up, it didn't stop Mardis and his crew from wondering the pits and stirring up even more shit trying to pick a fight with veteran drivers that didn't agree with their bullshit antics and making threats to the track owner and officials. It's pretty clear that some of these idiots don't come to the track to race. They want to pretend they're in some reality tv show and crave all the drama they can create. To make things worse there are employees in the tower that have connections to these same trouble makers and that has to end if the trouble is to be completely stopped. By the time the bitching and moaning was over it was time for features and the track was PERFECT for kickass racing. The top 3 in the Late Model and Mod features could have been covered with a tarp. Shane McLoughlin, JR Gentry, and Dave Hornikle used 3 lanes to put on quite a battle. Hornikle worked the bottom hard and snuck past Gentry and Mcloughlin in the closing laps but Mcloughlin stayed smooth and consistent to retake the lead coming to the checkers off turn four. Shane has twice picked up my bonus money for fast qualifier but this is his first win of 2018. Congrats to you sir. What a race! I just bet the cry babies wished they were out there instead of pouting in the stands. ;-) The Modified feature almost looked like a replay of the Late Models. DJ Kline would patiently work the bottom to work his way to Wisecarver and Hartman who were side by side fighting for the lead. Kline would eventually slip into the lead while nobody was looking but lapped traffic would ruin his night. Wisecarver never gave up his hunt for the win and Kline would have to settle for second. Thanks guys for another great show!

Time To Catch Up A Bit & Announce A Great Show Too
 by Bob on Tuesday, May 22nd
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DFC Racing As you know, Mother Nature has been killing the 2018 racing season at nearly every track in Ohio this year. Hilltop has only been able to squeeze in 3 shows so far but they've been damn good ones for sure. This week on Friday May 25th they will bring not only a great show, but it's for a great cause. Dubbed the "Race For Hunter", brought to you by E-Pak Manufacturing, Isner Racing Engines, Tye Twarg Racing, and DFC Racing Carburetors, the Late Models will be racing for at least $2500 to win plus many more bonuses. Start money for the feature has been increased to $250, the fastest qualifier will pick up $100, Heat race winners will snag an extra $100, and the Hard Charger award will be worth another $100. 50/50 proceeds will go to Hunter's family so come out to take in a great show while helping a family in need.

Corey Conley has picked up all 3 feature wins so far this year at Hilltop but he's had close company the past 2 times out. Wolford hounded Conley nearly every lap one night and the last time JR Gentry damn near pulled off the win. Those are weekly racers that have proven that they can compete for the win any given week, but with the extra money this week ya never know who will show up to take on the challenge of ending Conley's streak. Speaking of extra money, Shane McLoughlin has picked up that DFC Racing Carburetors bonus money for the fastest qualifier twice so far, with Ryan Markham taking it home once. Who will it be this week?

Opening Night Is In The Books And McLoughlin Picks Up A Bonus
 by Bob on Monday, Apr 16th
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DFC Racing

Mother Nature finally gave in and allowed the gang at Hilltop Speedway to get their opening night in the books. What a beautiful night she gave us! Racers and fans were more than ready to fill the place and enjoy the roar of horsepower and those awesome smells of racing fuel. I was kinda anxious to get me some of those Hilltop coney dogs too to be perfectly honest. The action was fast and furious all night long, beginning with qualifying. Picking up the very first DFC Racing Carburetors bonus money for fast qualifier in the Late Models was veteran racer Shane McLoughlin. Shane has been a strong competitor in this area for years and it was my pleasure to see him grab the cash. On a side note, I've decided to extend that bonus money offer to the Late Model fastest qualifier through the month of May. Let's see how many different drivers can pick up that bonus folks.

When it was time for the Late Models to hit the track for their feature it was clear that Shane would have his hands full if he wanted to take home the win. Early on it looked like Wolford had the entire field covered, including the often dominant Corey Conley. After an early caution Corey must have decided it was time to get up on the wheel and show the crowd how to pilot a Kryptonite car around "The Hill". On the restart Corey dove to the bottom and snagged the lead by the exit of turn 2. He never looked back after taking the lead and simply put on a clinic on smooth driving all the way to the checkers. It would be a special win for Conley too. This win gave him the record for all time feature wins in the Late Models at Hilltop. It's a record he's been working for since last season and very well deserved. Congrats Corey!

A New Generation At DFC Racing Carburetors
 by Bob on Tuesday, Mar 20th
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DFC Racing

I'm not quite ready to retire just yet, but I've always thought it would be great to hand over those secret recipes for carburetors to another generation someday. As a very proud grampa, I'm always happy to help my granddaughter with any projects that she shows interest in of course. I've often teased her about having her build carburetors with me, and each time she just chuckled and said she couldn't do that since she's only 11 years old and a girl. I try my very best to convince her that she can do absolutely anything she tries, and to never underestimate herself. This young lady is very smart and picks up on new things as quickly as anybody I've ever known. What better way to teach her than to turn her loose with a carburetor while explaining to her how it worked? One night while we were having some "grampa time" in the garage, I handed her a carburetor from a lawn mower and told her to take it apart. Once it was apart I explained to her what each part was and how it worked. She seemed to be surprised just how easy it was to disassemble and reassemble, so I told her that her next project would be a racing carburetor. To my surprise her eyes lit up and she asked me when we could do that! Since it's that time of year when there's plenty of those on the bench waiting to be done, it was only a couple of days before she would get that opportunity. One evening after she finished her homework she was more than ready to get to work. I should mention that I had promised to make her a custom shirt of her choice after she assembled her first racing carburetor. Once all the parts were laid out to assemble, it was pretty clear the shirt wasn't the source of her excitement though. She was sure to ask plenty of questions along the way and I was more than happy to answer them. I honestly expected to see her stumble at some point or to make a mistake that I'd have to have her fix, but her questions helped her to avoid any problems from start to finish. The look on her face as we finished up the final adjustments was absolutely priceless and made this old fart a little misty eyed to be honest. I couldn't have been more proud of her if she had just won a 100 lap feature. I'm pretty sure you can see her satisfaction in the picture. Hats off to ya Angelena! My little munchkin isn't quite ready to take over the carburetor business just yet, but I sure hope to keep those little hands busy for years to come. Oh, and here's your shirt kiddo!

A new employee at DFC Racing Carburetors isn't the only news to kick off the 2018 racing season. I'm happy to announce that we will be sponsoring the fastest qualifiers in the Late Model division at Hilltop for the month of April. More sponsorships for 2018 are also under consideration.

Here Comes The 2018 Racing Season
 by Bob on Monday, Mar 5th
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DFC Racing It's that time of year again when I can almost smell those racing fumes. Two area tracks will start their 2018 seasons with new ownership and I wish them well. Near the end of the 2017 season a deal was worked out to sell Deerfield Raceway to Don Sharpless. It will now be known as Deerfield Speedway, and more than the name has changed. Don has some pretty big plans for this 1/4 mile bullring including the new Wingless Sprint division. Sadly the Modifieds are now gone, but this place has many other divisions to keep you entertained. The Miller family deserves HUGE credit for running Deefield all these years in a way that not only helped the place survive and thrive, but they made sure it was the most family friendly facility in racing. Hats off to ya Paul and the entire Miller family and track staff. I'm sure gonna miss dealing with Paul but I look forward to giving the same support to Don and his crew. The other track that will start 2018 with new folks holding the keys is Midvale Speedway. While I haven't always had kind words for some of the actions I witnessed there over the years, I've also told everybody I know that Midvale is the nicest facility in the area and the action on the track is great every week. That's saying alot for an asphalt track;-) The Smith family has poured tons of money and sweat into this place in recent years to make it what it is, and the deserve respect and many thanks for their efforts. They handed this beautiful facility over to new owners, John and Kelley Chapman during the off season. Many of those that have been in the background to help this place run smoothly will return in 2018 to help John and Kelly in every way that they can. Both of these tracks will continue to get advertising and coverage here on this website as well.

Hilltop will kick off their season very soon with the same great owner of course. Buck Smitley is one of those track owners that honestly wants to hear any concerns or ideas from the racers and fans. To be perfectly clear, this means either stop and talk to him in person at the track, or give him a call any time. Posting online is no way to get concerns addressed by any track owner, so step up and talk to the man about anything. Buck has always taken the time to listen to anybody that's ever done it the right way. Shucks, he will even personally address your online rant while you're at the track if given the chance but I don't recommend taking that route. ;-) Buck is always looking for ways to speed the show along while putting on the best show possible every week so if you have real suggestions give him a shout. The 2018 tentative schedule has been released and posted below. Some dates are still being discussed but expect some great shows this year on "The Hill" for sure. See ya there!

Hilltop Speedway 2018 Schedule FRIDAY NIGHT RACING IN 2018!!!

March 17: Test & Tune 12:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

March 24: Test & Tune 12:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

March 30: Opening Night Regular Racing Event Excluding Mini Wedges

April 6: Regular Racing Event

April 13: Regular Racing Event Plus $500 to win Mini Stocks

April 20: Regular Racing Event Plus $1500 to win Late Models *No Wedges*

April 27: Regular Racing Event

May 4: Driver Autograph Night Regular Racing Event Plus Trucks $500 to Win *No Wedges*

May 11: OVSCA Sprints plus Late Models, Modlites, and Mini Stocks *No Mini Wedges, Street Stocks, or Modifieds*

May 18: Regular Racing Event

May 25: Regular Racing plus Late Model Show *No Wedges*

June 1: Regular Racing Event

June 8: TBA

June 15: Regular Racing Event

June 22: Regular Racing Event plus $1,000 to win Street Stock *No Wedges*

June 29: Regular Racing Event

July 6 TBA

July 13: Regular Racing Event

July 20: Regular Racing Event plus $1,000 to win Modifieds *No Wedges

July 27: Regular Racing Event

August 3: Regular Racing Event plus Kids Night

August 10: Regular Racing Event

August 17: Regular Racing Event Plus Season Championships

September 14th and 15th: 10th Annual Weekend on the Hill More details will follow

This is a tentative schedule. Dates may be changed or added. Watch website for up to date information about Hilltop Speedway at www.hilltopspeedway.org


Pits and General Admission OPEN @ 5:00pm
Pill Draw closes @ 6:45
Hot laps/Qualifying @7:00pm
Racing starts @7:30pm
Mini Wedges 6:30 sharp *FEATURES ONLY*

Regular Races Pricing

General Admission - $12
Kids under 12 Free
Pit Pass - $30

The End Of More Than Just A Racing Season
 by Bob on Sunday, Jan 7th
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DFC Racing Now that the holidays are officially behind us, we normally take this time to look forward to the upcoming racing season. I always like to reflect back on last season too for many reasons. While looking back I often see some signs of what to expect the new season to bring. This time around those signs make me both nervous and optimistic. The good news is that throughout the 2017 season car counts and crowds remained strong at most tracks. The fields of cars also grew more competitive with the exception of Street Stocks at Hilltop. Even with that exception, the number of Street Stocks did start to climb back up from the dismal numbers we saw midseason. With some changes being made in that division for 2018, I hope to see this class return to a show worth staying late into the night to see. At Hilltop alone the Late Models have really stepped up the game. Sure Corey Conley still seems to stand out and run out front but lately he's had plenty of company up there. It's no longer a done deal when Corey starts up front. The return of George Lee in a borrowed ride was just one of the examples of threats to win on any given night. Other guys such as Hottinger, Misel, Wolford, and Hornikle are weekly regulars that have put on great shows fighting for a win. The Modifieds have remained very strong at Hilltop for years and 2017 showed some very promising signs also. This division is well known for 3 and even 4 wide battles for the lead and in 2017 even more drivers were capable of pulling off the win. It was great to see Wardell, Kline, Lee, and others fight their way to the top of the field. George Lee even brought home a hard fought championship in the Modified owned by Tom Conley. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

Towards the end of the season rumors always fly, and I'm very happy to see one of them actually come true this time. Buck Smitley is always looking for ways to improve the show for racers and fans at Hilltop. Hell, he's often looking for ways to support other tracks to improve shows for all involved. That's not nearly as common as it once was, and very refreshing to see. For 2018 Buck will make a huge leap in that direction by switching to Friday nights for weekly shows. This move should help give drivers and fans the opportunity to support more than just one track every weekend. The already strong fields of cars should only improve at Hilltop and elsewhere with this change. Bigger and better fields of cars at any track means more fans in the stands of course, but more importantly it improves the health of the sport overall.

The health and future of this sport is exactly what has honestly made me a bit nervous the past couple of seasons. There's more than a couple reasons for this. In recent years we've seen some very seasoned drivers, track owners, and even track staff walk away from the weekly racing scene. Having the chance to talk to many of these folks I've seen a pattern. Every one of them has said that racing isn't what it once was and that the fun for them is all but gone. Sure, the costs and other factors played a role in their decisions but that one thing really stood out to me. That's probably because I have also had those same thoughts the past couple of years and I was somewhat surprised that so many shared that opinion. So what the hell went wrong? For me, it started with the attitudes of so many of the younger generation which slowly spread to some of the older ones too. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of young drivers with talent and just plain love the opportunity to race. There are also plenty of younger fans that understand the rules and do their best to support racing in many ways. However, dealing with the ones that feel the world revolves around them and that they should be catered to no matter what really sucks to put it bluntly. From racers wanting to fight over any call, even the right call, to the keyboard cowboys that rush to social media to bitch and whine while sitting at the track, may of us older folks aren't exactly wild about the "new normal". It's not too late to clean things up but it's gonna take some work and the right people to do it. Track owners will need to do a better job of educating racers and fans about the rules and procedures a well as what will be accepted and not accepted. You can't stop all the ugliness and I get that, but allowing things to get out of hand in the pits. grandstands, and on the track will only fuel the fires. Quick and decisive action against those involved is the only way to stop it. I'm old enough to remember when racers showed up to battle each other on the track, not to do battle with track owners and officials. Fans came to see good rivalries, not fights and crybabies. I never heard the Wirt brothers, Jim Gentry or others of that generation crying about less than perfect track conditions. They knew they would all be racing on the same surface and that they were there to try to out drive each other. Drivers and fans would actually take their concerns/complaints to the track owners or staff so they could actually be addressed. I sure miss those days.

That brings me to the "end of an era" part of the story. With more and more of the older generation either walking away from racing or at least stepping back a bit from it, I feel that a bit of what made racing in this area so great is quickly slipping away. Those folks have been around long enough to see the good times as well as the ugly times and have the wisdom to avoid making mistakes of the past. With the loss of Jeff Norris in 2017 we lost one of the few guys out there willing to risk everything to bring a track back from the dead just for the love of the sport. Jeff was probably the best track owner I've ever worked with and a very good friend. More importantly, he wasn't looking for fame or fortune by bringing Hilltop back to life. He wanted to give the racers and fans a great place to enjoy racing even knowing the sacrifices he would face. I've seen plenty of folks that thought they had the best plans to run a track but lacked the backbone to follow through. Jeff sure as hell wasn't one of those guys. Speaking of great track owners, Paul Miller brought back Deerfield Raceway years ago and turned it into the most family friendly track I've ever visited. He worked tirelessly to put on a smooth fast paced show each week that included racers of all ages. By the end of the 2017 season Paul had also decided that he'd had all the fun he could handle and sold the track. Don Sharpless is the new owner and has big plans for the future of the track. Let's hope he can have the level of success that Paul and his family have had there.

An huge loss to the racing community at the end of the 2017 season was the retirement of Ed Fredrick. Ed has been working as a flagman and/or race director for over 40 years and has served each of the local tracks at one time or another. He's the man that drug my ass onto the flag stand for the first time and it was a true pleasure to work with him. One of the highlights of each season working with him was the opportunity to share the flag stand at least a couple times with his father, Earl. Earl stretched his career on the flag stand to over 60 years. Now that's a family that has dedicated more than most to the racing community folks! Filling those shoes will be nearly impossible. Ed tells me he's looking forward to getting to a few different tracks this year just to take in the show for once. Hopefully this will return the fun in racing for him. After all that he's given to racing over the years, he certainly deserves to enjoy himself. I'll sure miss being the first one to give him the finger each night, but he has earned this retirement. So Ed, go have your fun with the grandkids and such, but I still hope to see ya at some track this year Prick! ;-)

Weekend On The Hill Is Here!
 by Bob on Wednesday, Sep 13th
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DFC Racing

Here comes the big show we've all been waiting for at Hilltop Speedway. September 15th & 16th the folks at Hilltop will close out their racing season once again with the 9th annual "Weekend On The Hill" event. Mark your calendars and load up everybody you can find to take in this great season ender at the place best known for kick-ass door to door action. Both nights are sure to be action packed. Of course this weekend isn't only about the racing. These shows offer a great party type atmosphere now that the stress of the points season is all gone, and the focus is much more towards the fun side of racing. Racers and fans alike are able to get together each night for more than just a typical race night. You'll be kicking yourself in the ass all winter long if you miss this show folks!

The format for this year is different from previous years so here's the details. Friday night will be focused on the support classes, with 2 divisions of Mini Stocks, Mini Trucks, and Mini Wedges. There will be a Powder Puff Race and a Mechanics Race in the Mini Stocks for some extra excitement. There will also be a ceremony celebrating the top 5 in points in both the Mini Stock and the Truck divisions. No other classes will be in action on Friday night. Pits open at 5:30 on Friday night with Hot Laps at 6:30

Saturday night will be action packed with all divisions except Mini Wedges taking to the track and extra money up for grabs. The Late Models will be chasing $2000 to win and a $500 bonus for the fastest qualifier. The Modifieds will race for $1200 to win, and $150 just to make the feature event. Fastest qualifier in the Modifieds will snag an extra $200 bonus. Street Stocks will be racing for $700 to win, the Modlites will be racing for $1000 to win. Mini Stocks and Trucks will each be racing for $500 to win.

Pits open at 3pm on Saturday- $35
General Admission opens at 5pm- $15
Hot Laps at 5pm
Racing at 6:30

Jeff Norris, The Man, The Legend, The Crazy Bastard
 by Bob on Tuesday, Jul 18th
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DFC Racing

Jeff Norris will always be a HUGE part of any story that describes racing in this area. Without the man I've referred to as that "crazy bastard" since our first meeting, there would be no Hilltop Speedway in Millersburg, period. The place was closed and overgrown for more than 30 years before Jeff came along with a dream/crazy idea. Not one other person on earth wanted to take on the task of bringing this track back to action, and for good reason. Other area tracks that were already operating could have surely been purchased easier and without anywhere near the risk that Norris would take on with this dream of his. Anybody that took the time to get to know Jeff Norris quickly learned that he was a guy that didn't hesitate to act on his dreams, damn the risks. The first time I met him I obviously had to ask why the hell he would even think of taking on such a project just to own a race track. His reply will always stick with me. He simply said "Why not, nobody else was gonna do it and it's something I really want to do." Good enough for me, and I was more than eager to jump on the crazy train from that moment on. No matter what I may contribute to his efforts, it would be worth it, and pale in comparison to his own efforts and costs. Most people have absolutely no clue how much Jeff and his family sacrificed personally and financially to make his crazy dream come true in order to give racers and fans a great place to enjoy. He sure as hell wasn't in it for fame or glory. That really really really wasn't his style. He risk everything, and in the end lost everything, just for his love of the sport that we all love so much. He was a man with great passion for this sport, his family, and his dreams. A man that was "all in" on all of those things as his family and friends will always remember.

Jeff wasn't just a determined dreamer either. He was a great family man, musician (who knew?), and racer too. More importantly though, he was a great friend of mine even after leaving the ownership role at Hilltop. We got together at the track whenever we could and those times will always be fond memories. In recent years we even brewed up yet another crazy idea together that will sadly never be done now. His true friendship meant so much to me, but never more than the night of my Dads memorial service. We were just cleaning up after the service which was a Saturday night. Jeff called me from Hilltop and asked where the hell I was. When I explained the situation and he told me I needed to be at the track and he would save me a parking spot near the pit gate. I reminded him that I was an hour away and they should already be done qualifying by now. He told me that I knew damn well where my Dad would expect me to be and that he was "pretty sure they were running a bit behind tonight" with a smirk in his voice. That was all I needed to hear and pointed my Chrysler towards Millersburg at high speed. I may have straightened out parts of Rt.83 along the way ;-) I called him from Holmesville to let him know that I was close and he said I might just make it in time for the National Anthem and that he was standing in my parking spot. I of course thought that was a joke. My eyes got a bit misty as I pulled down into the parking lot to see him standing in the spot nearest the pit shack and I could hear the National Anthem coming from the track speakers. I honestly don't know what delayed the show that night, but in my mind that "crazy bastard" made my night absolutely perfect. That's just the kind of man that Jeff Norris was and will always be remembered as. When it comes to remembering Jeff, the most obvious way that I and many others think it should be done is an annual memorial race in his name at Hilltop Speedway. After all, there would be no Hilltop Speedway without Jeff Norris and his family. Let's make this happen folks!

Take a bow my friend, you've damn sure earned it!

From One Lane To 3 Wide In One Night
 by Bob on Tuesday, Jun 6th
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DFC Racing Hilltop is well known for 3 and 4 wide racing each week, and that's what brings the crowds to Millersburg all season. This week the track didn't allow for any of that early on with only minimal passing throughout most of the heat races and dash races. There was no way Buck would allow that situation the rest of the night and the crew made the very best of a rare intermission before the features would run. DAMN what a difference that made, and well worth every minute of down time. The feature races looked like what we're use to seeing on "The Hill" and hats off to those that made that happen.

Sprints returned to Hilltop for one of two scheduled events this year. I'm not much of a Sprint guy but it was awesome to see a senior citizen put on such a great show and picking up the feature win. Jeff Taylor may be over 65 but he wheeled that Sprint like a 16 year old kid. Take that you youngsters! ;-)

For the second week in a row the Street Stock feature was finally worth watching again. Gee,,,, I wonder what made the difference. Could it be that the lack of just one particular car makes for a better show? If it would remain that way the car count might just climb back to what it should be. John Wilson picked up a hard fought feature win last week and this week David Potts would hold off Wilson for another well earned win. I could get used to seeing this division putting on good shows once again. I reckon that will depend on how soon/often "Team Tantrum" returns.

The Modifieds have put on great shows the last couple of weeks also. Last week DJ Cline showcased his talents as one of the smoothest drivers I've ever seen on dirt. DJ has always turned smooth consistent laps but that doesn't always pay off in the stout field of wide open rim riders that show up weekly at Hilltop. This time he would calmly hold off all challengers even through several late restarts to pick up the feature win. That was just plain beautiful to watch. This week the dash race was won by none other than past track owner Jesse Wardell by putting a smooth show of his own. Must have been that DFC Racing carburetor huh? ;-) Wardell would line up beside Morehouse on the front row of the feature with all lanes open for business this time. This was the first night out for Morehouse and it was clear he was hungry for a win at the drop of the green. There were some good battles behind him but the "Logger" never looked back and picked up his first win of the season.

The Late Models might have had the best show of the night this week. Corey Conley set fast time but his night was ended with mechanical demons during the dash race. Wolford seemed like a likely candidate for the win early on but he was soon joined by hard charging Hottinger and others. Hottinger would briefly take the lead but the turn two guardrail would take away his momentum. While the battle raged up front George Lee was up on the wheel slicing his way forward from his 9th starting spot. Lee was back to his old ways of riding the highest of the high line to pick up spot after spot. Before long he could smell the front spot and it would have to be his. It would take a battle with Wolford to take the lead and it didn't end well for Wolford. Lee would only enjoy the lead a short time though as his tires seemed to have gone away during the caution and he ended up snagging the wall just enough to allow Jeromy Misel to sneak by. Misel has often been a threat to win lately and he wouldn't be denied this time. Hornikle would slip into second place before the checkers flew leaving Lee in third. What a wild race! Congrats to the entire Misel team on their first feature win at Hilltop!!

Where ACTION Is The Attraction!
 by Bob on Friday, Apr 28th
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DFC Racing

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.

Hilltop Kicks Off 2017 Season
 by Bob on Monday, Mar 27th
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DFC Racing

Every season I wonder about the wisdom of starting the racing season in this area in the month of March, but sometimes Mother Nature seems to be just as eager as the rest of us to get back to racing. Sure, I once has snowballs thrown at me on the flagstand on opening night, but many opening nights have been just fine. This year Hilltop opened the season on a Friday night and with absolutely perfect weather. Car counts were a bit light as they usually are this time of the year, but the fans sure as hell showed up to get their first taste of door to door action on "The Hill". To be perfectly honest I was probably just happy to get my first taste of Hilltop food too. With only a couple slight delays the gang at Hilltop kept the show rolling straight through all divisions which made for a rare early ride home for me. Nice job folks!

Familiar faces would return to victory lane this week as Corey Conley would pick up yet another Late Model feature win and Jon Sluka would run away with his feature in the Modifieds. In each of these races there might not have been much of a battle for the win but there was plenty of action behind them. Gentry and Wolford would swap second place multiple times each lap for most of the race until Gentry ran out of race track and collected the wall coming out of turn four with just a handful laps left to go. It was a damn good battle up to that point though. The modifieds had plenty of action behind the leader too but probably the best fight for a win on this night was in the Mini Stocks. Jordan James would take the checkers but he had to work hard to earn it. Sadly, the action in the Money Stock,,,err umm I mean Street Stock division seems to have only gotten worse since last season. This class has been out of hand for so long there's no real fix for it anymore. Many good drivers have walked away from this class and racing entirely over the years because of what it has become and that's a damn shame. Not many can afford to build a Street Stock that turns Late Model lap times. Why the hell would anybody do it except to be the "big fish in the little pond"? Oh well, to each their own they say but I know the number of people that even care about watching this class has dwindled dramatically, and for good reason. That's just not good for the sport folks.

2017 Racing Season Is Nearly Here
 by Bob on Thursday, Mar 2nd
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DFC Racing Sure, it's been a pretty mild winter but it's still been way too long since we got to take in those racing fumes we all live for. Once the season kicks off it always seems that it was worth the wait though. This season will be even more exciting as our local tracks look to step up their programs even more to fill their pits and seats every weekend and at least one more track will be in the mix in 2017. Mansfield Motor Speedway set the racing world on fire back in January when it was announced that a new promoter would be taking over with the wild and crazy idea of ripping up all that pretty asphalt and installing a new clay surface. Well folks, the clay was already being hauled in by mid February and some major events have already been scheduled. Action begins on March 25th for the first night of their Triple Crown Spring Series. This awesome facility will showcase everything from Super Late Models, Sprints, Monster Trucks, and even Flat Track Bikes. Their website is still a bit short on details of some events but they're working quickly to get things in order. Be sure to check them out soon and take in a show to support this huge effort to return excitement to this historic track.

The only drawback to the news from Mansfield was that their first three shows ran up against the first three nights on the schedule at Hilltop Speedway. Buck made the simple decision to allow area racers and fans to support Mansfield on those nights by changing the Hilltop schedule from Saturday night to Friday night on those weeks. Now we can get a double dose of kickass racing action for the first few weeks of the season as long as Mother Nature cooperates. Some highlights of the 2017 Hilltop schedule include the return of Buckeye All Star Late Model Speed Week event, the first ever appearance of the Ohio Thunder Sprint Car Series, a qualifier event for the Jim Dunn Memorial show, Ohio Outlaw Motorsports Flat Track & Quads shows, and even some Blue Collar Series events. The gang at Hilltop are still working on other ideas for other special events this summer so stay tuned for further updates. For now the complete schedule as it stands is below. Be sure to get to "The Hill" often for the best side by side action on dirt!

Hilltop Speedway 2017 Schedule

March 18 Test & Tune 1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
March 24 Opening Night Regular Racing Event Excluding First Choice Stump Grinding & Trees Mini Wedges
March 31 Blue Collar Mini Stock Qualifier $500 to win Plus Regular Racing Event Excluding First Choice Stump Grinding & Trees Mini Wedges
April 8 TBA
April 15 Blue Collar Street Stock Qualifier $1,000 to Win Plus Regular Racing Event
April 22 Jim Dunn Memorial Qualifier Holmes Tire Late Models $2,000 to Win Plus The Hangout in Danville Modifieds $1,000 to Win Other Divisions TBA
April 29 Short Track Fire & Rescue Mini Stocks $500 to Win Plus Mini Late Models Plus Regular Racing Event
May 6 Driver Autograph Night Plus Bugs R Gone Trucks $500 to Win Plus Regular Racing Event
May 13 Regular Racing Event
May 20 Not Running Enjoy Your Weekend
May 27 TBA
June 3 Regular Racing Event
June 10 Regular Racing Event Plus TBA
June 17 Regular Racing Event
June 24 Regular Racing Event
July 1 TBA
July 7 Ohio Outlaw Motorsports Flat Track Racing Bikes & Quads
July 8 Rigz Towing Modlites $500 to Win Plus Fan Appreciation Night Plus Regular Racing Event
July 15 Ohio Thunder Sprint Car Series Plus Regular Racing Event Excluding Short Track Fire & Rescue Mini Stocks
July 20 Buckeye All Star Speed Week Late Models $3,000 to Win Plus The Hangout in Danville Modifieds $1,000 to Win Plus More TBA July 22 Not Running Enjoy Your Weekend
July 29 Regular Racing Event Plus Mini Late Models Excluding TBA
August 4 Ohio Outlaw Motorsports Flat Track Racing Bikes & Quads
August 5 Regular Racing Event
August 12 Mini Late Models Plus Regular Racing Event Plus Kids Night
August 19 Season Championships
August 26 Ohio Outlaw Motor Sports Bikes & Quads 9th Annual Battle At The Hill
September 2& 9 TBA
September 15th and 16th 9th Annual Weekend on the Hill Holmes Tire Late Model Invitational, The Hangout in Danville Modifieds, Homes Pest Control Street Stocks, Bugs R Gone Trucks, Short Track Fire & Rescue Mini Stocks, Rigz Towing Modlites, First Choice Stump Grinding & Trees Mini Wedges. More details will follow.
September & October TBA

This is a tentative schedule. Dates may be changed or added. Watch website for up to date information about Hilltop Speedway at www.hilltopspeedway.org.

Regular Racing Event Includes: Late Models sponsored by Holmes Tire, Modifieds sponsored by The Hangout in Danville, Street Stocks sponsored by Holmes Pest Control, Mini Stocks sponsored by Short Track Fire & Rescue, Trucks sponsored by Bugs R Gone, Modlites sponsored by Rigz Towing, and Mini Wedges sponsored by First Choice Stump Grinding & Trees

A Look Back On The 2016 Season
 by Bob on Monday, Dec 5th
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DFC Racing The 2016 season started way back in March for some folks including those that filled the place at Hilltop Speedway for opening night. Hilltop would provide many memorable moments throughout the season as always. We saw Corey Conley become so dominate early on that a bounty was placed on him. The bounty would bring in plenty of heavy hitters but it was that young fella from West Virginia that came to town to pick up the bonus money. Tyler Carpenter didn't even have his own ride that night so he borrowed the Kryptonite of Mike Lonas for the tough task. Carpenter would go on to have an extraordinary season of his own including a wild and crazy Speed Week. Shucks he even got a purrrty lil' crown at the end of the season by winning the DTRN points championship for the second year in a row. That will look very nice beside all those shiny new trophies and giant checks he snagged this year. Kryptonite Race Cars doesn't need a salesman with this kid and his father strapping into them weekly. The smart competition including Corey Conley starting ordering their own this season. Carpenter wouldn't be the youngest star to show up at Hilltop this season though.

Harrison Hall turned 12 years old the weekend he brought his Modified and Super Late Model to Millersburg and take on a huge field of veteran drivers for the "Weekend On The Hill" event. Harrison has been racing and winning championships since the age of 5! Sure we've heard may stories about drivers getting started early and having success, but this kid is just plain impressive! He showed absolutely no signs of being intimidated by the strong field he was facing and demonstrated better car control in the pack than some drivers that have been racing for decades. He barely missed making the A-Main with the Late Model, but brought home a very strong 9th place finish with his Modified. The youngster doesn't seem satisfied with just playing in the dirt either as he's already been testing an asphalt Super Late Model in his spare time. Keep an eye on this young fella in the future for sure!

Speaking of asphalt, congrats go out to Cody Jaberg for picking up his very first feature win on June 18th. I'd like to credit that win to his DFC Racing carburetor but Cody has been a threat to win for some time now. Keep up the good work young man!

Another racer that's always a threat to win at any track is Bob Daugherty. Facing the domination of Lonas at Hilltop Bob often found himself running second, and that's just not good enough for this guy. He would travel to a few other tracks to get his mo-jo back and once again prove that he can win anywhere. His travels would take him to 9 different tracks in 3 states adding up to 37 races this season. His reward would be 11 feature wins and 26 top 5's for the year. He brought that mo-jo back to Hilltop to win the last show of the season as icing on the cake. Those kind of stats aren't easy to come by now that this division has gotten so far from what it was meant to be. Not too shabby for an old bottom feeder. ;-)

While the racing season brought us many great memories all summer long, there was plenty of sadness as the season came to a close. Not just because we'd have to survive another long winter before smelling those sweet fumes again either. First came the announcement from Rick Bond that he would be hanging up his helmet for good after the last race of 2016. For those that have watched Rick for decades, there's no doubt that guys like him are not common enough in the world of racing. Besides being a very strong competitor, Rick has always been one that I've used as an example of a real class act on and off the track. Soft spoken for sure, but fierce in battle behind the wheel on every lap he ever turned. He'd fight for every inch on the track and give the shirt off his back to help anybody anywhere. From watching him from the pits, to dealing with him as a track official, I've only seen him lose his cool once and it was well deserved. Rick has always been respectful to fellow racers, fans, and yes even track officials in all the years I've known him. That's what heroes are made of folks. It's always tough to see one of the great old timers step away from the cockpit but lucky for us we can usually still find them at the local tracks taking in the show. My advice is to take advantage of those opportunities and chat with them. You'll learn much more than setup tricks, trust me.

Sad news also came just as the season was ending when one of my childhood heroes and a great friend of my dad passed away. Carl Graber may not be a name many people remember in the racing world but they remember his work when you mention the old "Snoopy Car" that Pete Bonewit and Dean Alexander drove. Even more memorable were probably the beautiful Mustangs driven by Dean Alexander. Yep this old farmer and my old man were partners in those cars and built them the old fashioned way in a little 2 car garage. I still remember as a little kid watching them build a car trailer overnight in that garage with nothing more than a stick welder, chalk lines on the floor, and pure determination. After my dad passed away I spent some time with Carl and I'm damn glad I got that chance. We shared plenty of laughs and more racing stories than I ever expected the old fart to remember. I suppose Carl and Pop are up there building race cars again, and I'd bet they'll be building nothing but more of those damn Fords. I never could convert those old timers to Mopars as hard as I tried.

Even more sad news came when we lost one of the pillars of Hilltop Speedway after the season ended. Wanda Brinker was probably the strongest supporter of Hilltop since the days when Jeff Norris got the crazy idea to bring racing action back to what had become an overgrown junk yard. You could always find Wanda along with her daughter Carly spreading cheer through the pits in their golf cart. When it was time for the features I always try get up to the top of the stands with these two to enjoy the action. There will be quite an emptiness up there from now on for me and many others. The top of "The Hill" will certainly be different without Wanda, but she will never be forgotten.

2016 Points Season Wrapped Up At Hilltop....But There's More Action Left
 by Bob on Thursday, Aug 25th
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DFC Racing

Racers and fans alike couldn't have asked for a better track surface than Hilltop provided Saturday night for Season Championship night. It was smooth, dust free, and FAST! All divisions were in action and many were fighting for those final points for a shot at a championship or at least a better final position in the season points. For the second week in a row the Late Models put on a stellar show of their own the entire length of the the feature. Battles for the top spot were awesome but the entire field seemed to be racing for a million dollars both nights. This week we would see Corey Conley debut his new Kryptonite chassis and it was impressive right off the trailer. He set fast time of the night but his battle had just begun. The feature was stacked with plenty of tough competition and nobody was gonna let Conley steal an easy win. When the checkers flew it was Dave Hornikel out front and Shane McLoughlin in second. Corey would have to settle for a hard earned third place. Right behind him was Kyle Moore with pretty damn good run of his own. The Moore boys have had a pretty rough season this year with destroyed cars and blown engines, but maybe their luck is finally turning around. Let's hope so.

Hats off to the newly crowned 2016 points Champions at Hilltop Speedway

Late Model: Vic Hottinger
Modifieds: Robin Duston
Street Stocks: Mike Lonas
Modlites: Clint Snyder
Mini Stocks: Colton St. John
Mini Trucks: John Large
Mini Wedge 10+: Reece Bollinger
Mini Wedge 9 and under: Brooklyn Wilson

Now that the points season is out of the way, it's time for some real fun on The Hill. This weekend the Ohio Outlaw Motorsports group rolls into town to put on a different type of show. If you haven't taken in one of these Bike and Quad shows, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. It may be a little quieter than your weekly show at Hilltop, but the action is sure to please. Click on their logo below for more details on this event as well as future shows.

Real racers and fans know that the big event of the fall season is The Weekend On The Hill. Mark your calendars for September 16th & 17th so you don't miss the most fun on dirt this year. Mix plenty of great racing with a party atmosphere and ya just can't go wrong. You'll be kicking yourself in the ass all winter if you don't make the trip for this one! Details for the entire event will be released soon so stay tuned......

2016 Season Winding Down Quickly
 by Bob on Monday, Aug 8th
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DFC Racing It's hard to believe that the regular racing season is nearly over already. Season Championship night is just around the corner at all of our local tracks folks. Then we'll have a few big season ending events to look forward to before the gates are locked once again for a few months. I guess what I'm getting at is don't miss any remaining chances you may get to take in the great racing action this area has to offer, dirt or asphalt.

In recent weeks there's been plenty of great racing to take in at Hilltop as always. After that young fella from down south picked up the bounty on Corey Conley, it looked like Tyler Carpenter was on top of the world. The start of the STARS Buckeye Speedweek seemed to confirm that this rising star was more than capable of running with the best Late Model drivers to be found anywhere. Carpenter kicked off the week long series by winning the first show in fine fashion. Leading the points going into the Wednesday show at Atomic Speedway, it started to look like he'd be taking the title back home to West Virginia. However, things took a very ugly turn, or flip in this case early into the heat race. Tagging the outside wall sent the 28 machine into traffic and from there he looked allot like a pinball. Thankfully he walked away but the car was trashed. Removing it from the track might have been easier with a bucket and a broom.

This is where racers show their true character. The Carpenters are real racers, and nothing would keep him from the track. I heard some people say that since the Carpenters own Kryptonite Race Cars, they'd just roll out a shiny new ride for Tyler, but that's certainly not what happened. The crew worked overnight trying to rebuild that pile of parts in order to make the show on Thursday night at Hilltop. They didn't get it back together in time for Hilltop but he did manage to borrow a ride at the last minute and rolled through the gate as the Late Models were running hot laps. Piloting a car he'd never sat in before, and doing battle against the best to be found on dirt, it was pretty impressive to see him bring home a 6th place finish. Then it was time to rush back home to finish rebuilding his own car for the Friday night show. That show would get rained out but the rebuilt car and it's determined driver were more than ready to get back to the action on Saturday night at the very same track that started all of this mess in the first place. With the car "good but not 100%" he'd have to settle for 5th place. Not too damn shabby in the opinion of most, but not good enough for the Kryptonite crew. They'd continue to bust their asses on the car one more long night to be ready for the final event of Speedweek. This time all of their hard work would pay off as Tyler once again put an old fashioned ass whoopin' on the stout field, picking up a VERY well deserved feature win. It's not often you get such a great example of pure determination, hard work, love of the sport, and just plain raw freakin' talent. These are things that money will never be able to buy. It's in their blood and it was awesome to see it pay off in the end for such a great team. Hats off to the entire Carpenter team as well as Kryptonite Race Cars. Thank you for showing that such values are still to passed from generation to generation in this great sport!



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