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Hilltop Speedway To Salute The ''Dreamer'' That Started It All
 by Bob on Monday, Feb 4th
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DFC Racing

Hilltop Speedway only exists today due to the dreams and determination of a man I called the "Crazy Bastard" from the first time I met him. Way back in 2005 the rumor mill was going wild about a former racer not only opening up a new dirt track in the area, but bringing one back from the dead after more than 30 years. I certainly wasn't alone in thinking this was probably just a wild dream that would fizzle out before completion. Curiosity got the best of me so I made the trip to see the place and meet this man that insisted he'd make this dream come true. When I saw the property I was even more skeptical than before. The faint outline of the track could barely be seen through the trees, weeds and debris. The infield was now an overgrown swamp and the area outside the track was now a junkyard filled with tons and tons of scrap vehicles from the past 3 decades. The only buildings to be found were falling apart and totally worthless. I remember thinking just how the hell was this place ever going to be a racetrack again, and who was crazy enough to think they could do it in just months instead of years. Then I met Jeff Norris. He wasn't some millionaire looking to throw cash at an idea hoping for the best. He was a simple, down to earth, hard working man that had racing running through his blood. Since I'm not exactly known to sugar coat things I started that first conversation by asking him why the hell he'd even think of taking on such a project just to own a racetrack. 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." His determination and realistic attitude was obvious the more we talked, and just what it took for me to jump aboard the "crazy train" along with him from that day forward. There were others from the racing community that did exactly the same as I did after meeting Jeff. You just couldn't help liking the man and getting excited about seeing this dream come true. We would all give our best towards getting this project done successfully, but one fact is simply undeniable. There would be no Hilltop Speedway today without Jeff Norris and his family.

From the first time I met Jeff we became good friends and we shared some great conversations even after he left the track. Some of those conversations were hilarious, and others were very serious. It was never made public but we even took a tour of another overgrown and closed down racetrack after some discussions with someone about securing finances to make yet another dream come true. Those plans ended up falling apart after the seller got too greedy and jacked up the selling price. What a damn shame. I would have loved another opportunity to work with Jeff once again. It simply wasn't meant to be I guess. One of our conversations after that really struck me in a very serious way. Jeff joked that maybe someday after he was gone somebody would hold a memorial race in his name. I remember telling him that if anybody in the whole racing world deserved such an honor, it would surely be a man that had accomplished what he had done. We honor great racers so honoring a guy responsible for the very existence of a great track should be an obvious move. He may have been joking but I knew then that this was something that needed to be done in the event of his passing. Sadly we lost Jeff in July of 2017. Hilltop honored the family on a special night that year and I hoped for a memorial race in 2018. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Talking with Buck recently I brought it up again since the schedule wasn't quite complete yet. Buck was eager to make this happen this year as long as the Norris family was onboard. When I contacted them it was clear that they were behind this idea. So I'm very happy to announce that on Friday, April 19th, Hilltop Speedway and Holmes Tire will bring you the Jeff Norris Memorial Race paying the Late Models $2,000 to win. DFC Racing Carburetors will also bump up their Late Model fast qualifier bonus to a cool $100 for this event. All other divisions except Mini-Wedges will also be in action on that night. I'd love to see this become an annual event so let's pack the house folks. Let's show some support for a great man that gave so much just to make his dreams and our dreams come true to bring us the best place for side by side racing in the area. It's the very least we can do and we'll get to see a kickass show while we're there. Jeff may be gone but he will never be forgotten. His dream will live on as we witness and remember the sounds and smells of race cars at a place that many never thought would ever experience them again. We salute ya Jeff and the entire Norris family!

I've created a slideshow as a tribute to Jeff Norris and posted it on Youtube. Huge THANKS goes to Ken Cunningham for the use of his pictures that he took years ago to capture a very special time for our racing community. Click the link provided to see the slideshow and I hope you enjoy it.

Youtube Video



What To Watch For In 2019 At Hilltop Speedway
 by Bob on Monday, Feb 4th
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DFC Racing

It may be hard to believe now, but the 2019 racing season will be here before too long. Hilltop Speedway has always kicked off the action early, and this year is no exception. You never want to miss a night of racing at Hilltop and you may need to dress warm for some of the early events but it will be worth it. The entire schedule will have plenty of great shows as always, but I'll cover some highlights here. They will start the racing on March 16th with an Enduro event at 2:00pm. The following week on March 23rd will be an open test and tune day from noon til 4pm. This practice is open to all race cars of course. Things will really heat up on March 29th when the official season will begin with all divisions except Mini-Wedges taking to the track. Then on April 5th the Renegades Of Dirt Modifieds come to town for the King Of The Hill show. The Modifieds will be chasing $2,000 to win on that night. You sure as hell don't want to miss the show on April 19th as Holmes Tire brings you the Jeff Norris Memorial Race where they honor the man that turned an overgrown junkyard into the Hilltop Speedway we enjoy today. Late Models will be racing for $2,000 and with some extra talent in the area that week this should be an awesome show. On July 12th New Fast Motorsports will present the Mini Stock Nationals with a HUGE payout yet to be announced. Last year this show paid $5,000 to win! On July 26th The Buckeye Late Model Dirt Week event will pay $3,000 to win and $400 to start the 30 lap feature. Fast qualifier will pick up an extra $100 for the efforts that night also. There's plenty more great shows on the schedule and some others still being planned so stay tuned folks. Hilltop is the place to be for the very best door to door action in the area without a doubt. Now is the time to make your plans to make the trip to Millersburg every Friday night. As a nice bonus you're bound to see my smiling face there.



DFC Racing Carburetors To Reward Top Qualifiers In 2019
 by Bob on Friday, Feb 1st
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DFC Racing Last year I decided to reward the top Late Model qualifiers at Hilltop Speedway with a bonus of $25 and the feedback was great. I originally planned to only do it for the first month of the 2018 season but that turned into a season long deal after talking with the folks that picked up the bonus money. Their appreciation has lead me to kick off the 2019 season at Hilltop with the same deal for at least the first 8 races. Of course this could easily last all season again if all goes well. This year I'd also like to challenge other businesses to do the same for the Modifieds. It's a great way to show your support for the racers and Hilltop Speedway while getting to know some great people along the way. The advertisement is just a bonus but it never hurts to get your name out there for a good cause.



PLEASE Support A Man That Has Supported Area Racing For Decades
 by Bob on Tuesday, Jan 29th
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DFC Racing Chuck Griffith has been a huge supporter of local racing for what seems like forever. He's kept the crowds entertained from behind the microphone at several tracks, dirt and asphalt, as well as being involved in many fund raisers for others over the years. Or as Chuck would say "many many years". ;-) He's a walking history book as far as local racing is concerned too. I'm almost certain that if you ask him who won the first Late Model feature in May of 1974 at Wayne County Speedway, he could tell you who it was and throw in what lap they took the lead just for fun. Then he'd ramble on about the first car that driver ever drove and what size engine it had in it. He probably wouldn't shut up until he listed all the sponsors of that car too because Chuck has always taken great care of the sponsors.

Sadly Chuck is in need of some support from the racing community this time around as he battles Acute Myloid Lukemia. The folks at Wayne County Speedway have organized a fund raiser to be held in Creston Ohio on Sunday March 3rd. You can show your support in a few different ways. The easiest is to show up and eat some spaghetti and bid on the items that will be donated. You can also donate an item to be auctioned off at the dinner. If you can't find your way to Creston you can go to the link below and make a donation to his gofundme account. Please do whatever you can to show this man some support.

Go Fund Me Account



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

*FRIDAY NIGHT RACING TIMES*

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.



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