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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!

Conley Knocked Off His Thrown As ''King Of The Hill''
 by Bob on Friday, Jul 15th
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DFC Racing

Markham, Duncan, Bond, Gentry and others have made the trip in recent weeks to end the winning streak of Corey Conley at Hilltop Speedway. They all failed. With a bounty out for anybody that could tackle the job, along with some other bonus money on the line, that youngster from West Virginia Tyler Carpenter decided to take his turn at it. Carpenter would be behind the wheel of the Kryptonite #5L normally piloted by Mike Lonas. The "kid" went right to work in the pits making changes to the car before ever strapping in. I reckon when your own family builds the chassis, ya just know what you'd like to see in a setup. The Dash race would show that he could run with Conley so the feature would surely be interesting. In the early laps of the feature Carpenter captured 2nd place but by then Conley was driving away. But not for long! Somebody will have to explain to me one day how Carpenter got the nickname Kamikaze Kid, because the little bastard is probably the smoothest, most disciplined young driver I've ever watched. Sure he can run wide open around a track with the best of them, but he can also do it 3 or 4 wide without ever making contact or getting out of shape. That's IMPRESSIVE! It was like watching a cat creep up on a mouse as Carpenter closed in on Conley and when he made his move for the lead the crowd went crazy. Through lapped traffic Conley put up a short battle but soon it was clear that his streak would be over. Only disaster or a caution would save his ass now. Then the yellow flag flew with one lap to go. Once again we'd see how smooth this kid can be. Protecting the bottom off turn 4 to take the green was his only defense but by the middle of 1 & 2 turns he had this one in the bag. Congrats young fella and thanks for one hell of a show! Note to Lonas: ya better get up on that wheel this Saturday night because we've just witnessed what that car is capable of. ;-)

Mark your calendars folks for THURSDAY July 28th. The STARS Late Model series will roll into Millersburg to battle the stout weekly competitors on "The Hill". Late Models will be chasing $3000 to win and $300 just to make the feature. Hilltop will be starting 24 cars in the Late Model feature for this show. Modifieds will be racing for $1300 to win. The Street Stocks will be chasing $1000 to win (THANKS to McKenzie Concrete) and Mini Stocks will be racing for $300 to win. This is one of those show that's sure to make long lasting memories for all race fans so BE THERE!!!!

Double Dose Of Deerfield For The Holiday Weekend
 by Bob on Monday, Jul 4th
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DFC Racing

Deerfield Raceway celebrated the July 4th weekend in fine style with 2 great nights of action. Saturday night was Mid-Season Championship night along with the Dave Walters Memorial race for the Modlites. The track was once again groomed to perfection for the full night of action in 9 divisions, as it always seems to be. I spent the first half of the night in the tower and I gotta tell you that the efficiency of the staff up there is pretty impressive. I've spent time in the towers at various tracks over the years, and to say it can usually be a little hectic is quite an understatement. This place is certainly different from those others. The laid back feeling was unlike anything I've experienced in any other tower. They even talked me into helping with the scoring for a while and that's a job I'd normally run from. It helped alot that caution flags aren't quite as common as I'm used to seeing. That fact alone is very impressive when you consider that there are fields of kids out there putting on a good bit of the show. All divisions raced clean and those having a problem were quick to get off the track if possible to avoid bringing out the unnecessary caution flag. You Deerfield officials are spoiled if ya ask me. ;-) From the AWESOME singing of the National Anthem, to the full field of Modlites climbing out of their cars on the front stretch after the feature race to join the presentation of the Dave Walters Memorial Race trophy, it was a great show of pure class that should make anybody return for more. So,,,, that's exactly what I did the very next night.

By now you all know that my favorite night at a race track is any night that I get to take my daughter and granddaughter with me. Angelena is a huge Bob Daugherty fan but she might enjoy the Night Of Destruction shows at Deerfield even more. These shows are probably the only time you'll find a nasty track surface at Deerfiled but that's the only way to run an Enduro race, race car bowling, and other assorted mud filled events. There will be two more of these shows this year and you owe it to yourself to see at least one of them. You'll get more than your share of mudslinging/fender bending action, and probably take a little track surface home with ya. We had a blast all night as always but I have to warn Paul that I'm pretty sure Angelena was sizing up that little tow truck. She's pretty sure she can reach the pedals in that one so ya might wanna hide the keys!

Finally Getting Back To Those Racing Fumes!
 by Bob on Monday, Jun 20th
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DFC Racing

Between all the rain-outs, family obligations, and a shredded tire on route 30, it was about a month and a half before I finally got back to a track for some racing action. Sure I got to visit a couple during the week for some testing and bullshit sessions, but I needed my favorite coney dogs and those kickass Hilltop Fries in a bad way. Last week there was nothing short of disaster that would keep me away. Blazing temps made for some dust and a slick track, but that wasn't gonna ruin my fun. The only thing that put a damper on the night was that crybaby BITCH that rushed straight to Facebook (while sitting in the friggin stands) to complain about the dust. I was there when Buck offered to refund her money along with admission price for her candy ass boyfriend, who also rushed to Facebook to cry like a BITCH while sitting in the stands. Why am I being so harsh on these two assholes? Well, she explained very clearly to Buck and I that the internet is where people voice their opinions. So, since I don't dabble in the evil that is Facebook, here's my opinion. First, if you go to a DIRT track on a 94 degree day, you should probably expect some dust, possibly plenty of it since water simply runs off once the track has hardened. If you find the outside real world not quite as pleasant as parking your ass behind a keyboard indoors, maybe you should take up an indoor sport or stick to playing those online games. Secondly, if you find yourself unhappy with those icky outdoor conditions and want to express your displeasure, grow a pair and talk to management in person like an adult. Any business in the world would be happy to discuss your issues in person rather than get bashed from a keyboard, and you won't find a more "eager to please" owner than Buck Smitley of Hilltop Speedway. I know it's tough for this damn Facebook generation to have an actual 2 sided conversation where you're accountable for your actions and "comments", but that's what it takes to actually accomplish things in the grownup world. Give it a try sometime if ya dare. ;-) Oh, and just in case you've convinced yourself that the dust problem was only at Hilltop, I can point out some videos from another local track on the same night that look at least as bad. Go figure.

Alright, now to the racing. Last week the slick track did indeed take away some of the 3 and 4 wide action that Hilltop is known for but there was plenty of passing going on and drivers used every inch of the racing surface. In the Street Stocks, the slicker surface actually leveled the playing field a bit. The big motor guys had their hands full all night and Bob Chilcote took home the $1000 feature win while Lonas peddled that big ass motor the best he could to pick up second with Daugherty on his tail.

This week the track was in great shape and even with the scorching temps the dust was under control. This brought back the awesome side by side racing we expect on "The Hill" for sure. Dashes and heat races gave us just a hint at the battles we'd see when the features lined up. Late Models, Modifieds, and Street Stocks gave us unreal battles for the lead and throughout the fields, along with door to door finishes at the checkers. The Late Model feature will be one to remember for anybody that witnessed it. JR Gentry jumped to an early lead and kept his foot through the radiator for almost the entire race, lifting only slightly to slice his way through lapped traffic. Meanwhile there was one hell of a battle behind him trying to decide who would try to take the lead away. Markham finally secured 2nd and went to work trying to reel Gentry in. By midway he closed in tight but didn't push his luck just yet. This ol' veteran hasn't won a gazillion features by taking chances early that he didn't have to. Lapped traffic would once again play a role coming for the white flag and Markham was ready to capitalize this time and stole the win from Gentry. Gentry said later that he may have been too conservative with the lapped traffic at the end but I honestly don't think he could have played it any harder without causing a huge mess of twisted metal. As hard as that loss had to be for Jr, he put on one of the best examples of class you could ask for after the race. He climbed from his car on the front stretch to shake the hand of the man that took his win away. I'll be the first to admit that I haven't always seen that attitude from Gentry, but this was sincere and it was truly a class act. Hats off to ya JR! You might just become the man your legendary father is someday. ;-)

Coming up this Saturday June 25th will be Mid-Season Championship Night at Hilltop Speedway. The 25th would also have been my Dads 84th birthday and I know exactly where he'd expect me to be. See ya at Hilltop folks!!!

2016 Season In Full Swing Now
 by Bob on Wednesday, Apr 27th
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DFC Racing Now that all of our local tracks have opened up the gates, there's plenty of action to be found for dirt and asphalt racers and fans. Barberton Speedway has kicked off their first full season with the new ownership and the place has been packed. They've spent plenty of money and hard work to spruce up the 1/4 mile bullring and the racers and fans have been rewarding them for their efforts. It's worth the trip even for you dirt fans to check this place out this season.

Deerfield Raceway started their seaon this past weekend with 99 cars in the pits. That says alot about the place with the weather being just a little less than optimal for racers and fans. The gang at Deerfield put on a great show each week and go out of their way to make every vistor feel like family. You can't find a more family oriented crowd in the stands at any other track I've ever visited. This is another 1/4 mile bullring, but this one is dirt of course. Be sure to make plans to take in a show here and I promise you'll want to return.

Hilltop has already had 3 shows so far and the action has been nothing short of awesome. On April 16th the stands were once again packed and the fans got one hell of a show. In the days of lighter car counts everywhere, it was great to see not one but three B-Main races in one night. The Late Model and Modified fields were filled with the very best competition to be found in the area. One Late Model team even made the trip from Canada! Last week we saw Corey Conley pick up his second win of the year from his 11th place starting spot to the surpise of many. So far it seems that Conley can't be beat when it comes to the Late Models, but this past weekend almost turned out differently. 2015 points champion, Kyle Moore, struggled with his new ride on the 16th but this week he had that Kryptonite dialed in. He jumped out to an early lead and started to drive away from the field briefly. It didn't take long for Conley to find his way to 2nd though and he began hounding Moore for the lead. There were some great battles behind them but these two drivers had a damn good clean battle for most of the feature with lapped traffic often playing a role. Coming to get the white flag that lapped traffic would help decide the outcome of this feature. Moore chose the risky move of trying a narrow line around lapped traffic getting into turn 3. It was a clean move and Moore kept from moving the slower traffic out of the way, but it would cost him the lead. Conley chose the safer route and stole the lead by turn 4. Ya can't say Moore didn't give it all he had to try to regain the lead but he just couldn't pull it off in one lap. The crowd sure as hell got a show though. You won't want to miss the action this week as I expect Moore and others will try to knock Conley off his throne. Keep an eye on that Moore fella. ;-)

Hilltop Sponsors Stepping Up For April 16th Show
 by Bob on Tuesday, Apr 12th
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DFC Racing

Mother Nature finally seems ready to allow Hilltop Speedway to get back to racing this weekend and you won't want to miss this one. Not only will all divisions be back in action this week, but some loyal sponsors have stepped up to make this even more interesting. The Modifieds will now be chasing $1200 to win, along with some extra cash thrown in for the top five spots. There will also be some bonus money offered up for the fastest qualifier, hard charger, and even the longest haul. Each of these racers will snag an extra $100 for their efforts. There's always a kickass field of Mods on hand at Hilltop and these offerings should bring in a few more hot shots this week. Those strong enough to make the field for the feature will at least pick up $150 start money. What a great way to salute the strong field of Modified teams that support Hilltop weekly!

The cash doesn't all go to just the Mods this week either. The Street Stocks will be chasing $700 to win and $100 just to start the feature. The Mini Stocks will be racing for an increased purse of $300 to win also. These divisions racing for extra money, along with the always stout fields of Late Models, and Modlites, will surely make for one hell of a show. You have no excuses this weekend for not getting to Hilltop for the best action on dirt. See ya there!

Hilltop Packs The House To Kickoff 2016 Season
 by Bob on Sunday, Mar 27th
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DFC Racing

This past winter may not have been quite as brutal as we've become used to around these parts, but it seemed to be just as long. Especially when we're all itching to get back to a race track. Lucky for us, Hilltop Speedway has always been just as eager to get back to action as early as they think it may be possible. Each year I have my doubts about the weather being decent enough, or that the fans are willing to brave the cooler temps for their first racing fix of the year. Then I get to Hilltop and those doubts are all gone. They've been fortunate to draw pretty decent crowds for each of their opening nights, but last night topped them all. Loyal fans packed the place and they were treated to one hell of a night of racing. Other than the truck class, each division brought a full field of competitors that came to play hard and keep the fans on their feet. The Late Model Dash looked like they were racing for a million bucks, or at least braggin' rights for winning the first dash of the season.

Tyler Carpenter picked up the feature win on Friday night at Legendary Hilltop Speedway in Marietta, and I'm sure he planned on being crowned "king of both hills" before the weekend was over. I'll admit that I kinda expected him to pull it off with his smooth driving style and kickass Kryptonite car. However, a few others in the field had plans of their own. Shane McLoughlin may have brought a plain looking ride to the show, but he battled the best of them to pick up the Dash win in fine fashion. When the feature lined up it was clear that there would be plenty of action to keep your eyes on throughout the field. It would be another West Virginia native, Corey Conley, that would slide his way into the lead early on. Corey seemed to have found some magic since the Dash race and pulled away a bit before battling lapped traffic. Meanwhile there was some serious racing going on behind him fighting for second through fifth. Slowly and patiently Carpenter worked his way to second and started to reel in Conley. The laps were winding down fast but a late caution would put Carpenter on the rear bumper of the leader for a restart. He was able to get under Conley a few times to threaten for the lead, but that only seemed like a wakeup call for Conley. He must have had his right foot through the firewall that last lap as he pulled away for a hard earned win. Carpenter would settle for second, Greg Oaks brought home a damn strong third, moving McLoughlin to fourth. Mike Lonas rounded out the top five.

The Modifieds put on a great show of their own with Wisecarver picking up the win. Bringing home a top five finish in his new ride was previous Hilltop owner, Jesse Wardell. It's damn good to see him back in action on the very same track that he helped make so popular. One fella that didn't get to see much action last night was Rory Reed. He had a strong run going in the heat race locking up second place until the final laps when the "magic smoke" rolled out of his engine and onto the track. Anybody out there have a spare engine laying around??

2016 Hilltop Speedway Schedule Is Out
 by Bob on Tuesday, Feb 2nd
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DFC Racing

Make your plans now to kick off your racing season on March 26th at the Hilltop Speedway. This place is known for the kickass 3 & 4 wide action so I have a warning for you folks. If you start your season on "The Hill", any trip you may make to another track this summer may seem a bit boring to you. ;-) You'll notice that there are still some dates on the schedule to be filled so stay tuned for some exciting news throughout the season. Complete schedule as of now is posted below. See ya there!

2016 Schedule:

March 26 Opening Night Regular Racing Event Excluding Mini Wedges

April 2 Regular Racing Event Excluding Mini Wedges

April 9 Regular Racing Event Short Track Fire & Rescue Mini Stocks $300 to Win

April 16 Regular Racing Event

April 23 Modifieds $1,000 to Win Plus Regular Racing Event Excluding MIni Wedges

April 30 Regular Racing Event

May 7 Driver Autograph Night Plus Holmes Tire Late Models $1,200 to Win Plus Regular Racing Event

May 14 Regular Racing Event

May 21 Regular Racing Event

May 28 Veterans Appreciation Night Plus Holmes Tire Late Models $1,200 to Win Plus Regular Racing Event Excluding Mini Wedges

& Bugs R Gone Trucks

June 4 Regular Racing Event

June 11 Street Stocks $1,000 to Win Plus Regular Racing Event Excluding Bugs R Gone Trucks

June 18 Regular Racing Event

June 25 Mid-Season Championship Modlites $500 to Win Plus Regular Racing Event

June 30 or July 2 TBA

July 9 Short Track Fire & Rescue Mini Stocks $500 to Win Plus Regular Racing Event

July 16 Regular Racing Event Plus Fan Appreciation Night

July 23 Regular Racing Event

July 28 Holmes Tire Late Model Dirt Speed Week Details TBA

August 6 Regular Racing Event Plus Kids Night

August 13 Regular Racing Event

August 20 Season Championships

September 1 TBA

September 16th and 17th 8th Annual Weekend on the Hill Holmes Tire Late Model Invitational, Modifieds, Street Stocks, Bugs R

Gone Trucks, Short Track Fire & Rescue Mini Stocks, Modlites, Mini Wedges. More details will follow.

Regular Racing Events Start Times: Pit Gates Open at 3:30 p.m. cost $30.00 General Admission at 4:00 p.m. cost $10.00 Kids 12

and under free

Hot laps 5:30 p.m. racing at 7:00 p.m.

A Little Racing News To Warm You Up
 by Bob on Thursday, Jan 14th
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DFC Racing
The 2016 racing season is not that far away even though it seems like Ol' Man Winter has just started to set in. There will be no shortage of great racing action in our area once again this year so be sure to get out and support your local tracks and racers every chance you get. Asphalt fans will be happy to hear that Barberton Speedway will finally be back in action for a full season in 2016. If they can draw in anywhere near the support they got for their end of the season Cavalcade weekend throughout their weekly shows this place will be well worth the trip, even if you're a dirt fan. There may also be one other area track making a huge return in our area this season if all goes as planned. The legendary Dragway 42 has been going through a very impressive make-over the past couple of years, and they tell me that the thunder of drag cars should return this summer. It's nearly impossible for me to believe what they're building where my home dragstrip once was. For you dirt fans my only comparison would be building a new NASCAR track at the Lakeville property. This will be a top notch facility in every way and you'll damn sure find me there when the gates finally swing open on this shiny new work of art.

This is the time of year that tracks are busy working to finalize their schedules and tweak their programs to better serve the racers and fans. Hilltop is always at the top of that list when it comes to ways to improve their shows while keeping it affordable for everyone. This is still the only track in the area that offers the crazy affordable yearly driver registration that includes one free pass for every night they participate in. This year the price for that registration has finally been bumped up from $100 to $125 to help cover increased operating costs, but still nobody else dares to come close to this offer. To snag this deal drivers/owners need to get their completed registration and payment (check or money order) mailed in by March 1st. The form is available on the Hilltop website and should be mailed to Hilltop Speedway, 10313 Back Orrville Road, Orrville, OH 44667. Other changes for this season at Hilltop include new hours that will be in place the entire racing season. They are posted below. This should avoid any confusion that came from the spring time hours and summer time hours they've used in the past. The new hours along with other tweaks should also help to get old folks like me back home a bit earlier after a kickass night of racing. Other fine tuning including some rule changes are still being worked out and will be announced soon. I look forward to once again spending as much time as possible at Hilltop Speedway, and I hope you will too. After all, it's always the place to find the very best door to door action on dirt!

NEW Hours Of Operation For Hilltop In 2016

Pit gates open at 3:30 pm

Pill Draw Closes at 5:15 pm

Hot Laps start at 5:30 pm

Racing starts at 7:00 pm

Main Gate opens at 4:00 pm

Main Concessions and Pit Concessions open at 4:30 pm

A Very Special Holiday Message
 by Bob on Wednesday, Dec 23rd
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DFC Racing I know it's been a few years since I posted one of these, but this year it seems like I really needed to. No, this one isn't about racing, but it is about the man that got me into racing in the first place, and made damn sure I stuck with it even while he went through the roughest times of his own life. For those of you that have lost somebody that meant the world to you, I figure you'll understand. For the rest of you, I strongly encourage you to make the best of every day you get to spend with your loved ones. I'm very blessed to say that I did just that the past few years. Next racing season will be a little odd for me without that early morning call after race night asking me who won and such, but I figure now he'll get to see the action from a much better view. Merry Christmas to all of you from DFC Racing!

Twas the night before Christmas,
and I was out in the garage.
What's that in the corner?
It must be a mirage.
It was a very familiar face
with a shit eatin' grin.
He said that's enough work son,
it's time to go in.
I stuttered and I stammered,
nearly fell on my butt.
Something told me it was true,
I could feel it in my gut.
Right there in front of me,
was the man I called Pop.
It's been quite a while,
since I've seen him in my shop.
He said he got bored,
hanging out with old friends.
So he came back to visit,
and tie up some loose ends.
I asked what he meant,
what he felt wasn't done.
He said grab us some beers,
and I'll tell you my son.
I said I don't have Yuengling,
I hope Bud Light will do.
The old man just chuckled,
and said oh fook sti kuh.
He twisted one open,
and took a big chug.
Then he walked up to me,
and gave me a big hug.
He said that's just in case you doubted,
the last time I did that.
I pulled up a chair,
and then quickly sat.
So that was you on that final night?
That feeling of comfort in knowing
that you were finally alright?
You must have been the one
that held back all my tears,
chased away all the sadness,
and took away any fears.
I've often suspected
that it was you all along.
Thank you for being there
and keeping me strong.
He said as your gramma was guiding me
towards that big fancy gate,
I wanted to be there for you,
but feared it was too late.
So I wrappped my arms around you,
and held you real tight.
So Merry Christmas son
and to all a good night!

Awesome Way To Wind Down 2015 Season At Hilltop
 by Bob on Thursday, Sep 24th
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DFC Racing

It was quite a long wait between Season Championship Night and the Weekend On The Hill, but as always, this show was well worth the wait. There was a complete racing program each night so teams didn't have to commit to being tied to one track all weekend. Looking at the packed pits and grandstands, it was clear that not many folks planned to miss any of the door to door action this place is known for. Even the cool ugly rain on Saturday couldn't keep racers and fans away from their last shot at racing action of the year on "The Hill".

A kickass field of 29 Late Models would take to the track on Friday night. Larry Bellman would set fast time but this night belonged to Mike Lonas and his Kryptonite race car. There were plenty of those badass Kryptonite cars there including Fast Freddie himself, but nobody seemed to have anything for Lonas all night long. Mike picked up the Dash win putting him at the front of the field for the feature. That was bad news for the rest of the field although Bond did give Lonas a battle at times early on. Bond, Carpenter, Hottinger, Malcuit, Conley and Markham could only fight over second place for the rest of the show. As if that wasn't a strong enough show for Lonas, he then went on to pick up the Street Stock feature win while he was at it. Damn what a night for one of Hilltop's most loyal weekly regulars. Congrats to ya Mike!

Saturday brought many changes including plenty of rain throughout the afternoon. Rain can do terrible things to a dirt track, but if run in right it can also make for a damn fast track. I'd have to say it was run in right as Markham set fast time turning the smooth as glass lap of 14.920. Tyler Carpenter added yet another Kryptonite car to the field on Saturday but missed the dash giving himself a bit tougher job when the feature came along. At the drop of the green of the Dash race it looked like Markham would pick up where Lonas left off the night before. Ryan is often know to be a bit laid back until feature time but he wasted no time working his way from the tail to the front. Laps would run out before he could get the lead away from Hottinger, but it was clear at this point Markham came to win the 30 lapper. Early in the feature it was all Markham with Hottinger, Conley, and Fast Freddie all fighting for second place. By the time a late caution flew with just 9 laps to go Conley had earned that 2nd place and was hounding Markham for the lead. On that restart we were treated to some of the best action all weekend as Conley squeaked into the lead and Tyler Carpenter stepped up his drive to the front. This young fella worked every inch of the track surface to drive by anybody in his way including his own dad. He was on a rail up top at the end and I can only guess he misjudged the number of laps left because it probably wouldn't have take 2 more laps for him to take the lead. As the checkers flew he would have to settle for 3rd as he was setting up that lead stealing move. Still one hell of a late race charge for one of the best young drivers I've ever seen strap on a helmet. What a show all of these drivers put on both nights!

I'm not sure how many of you out there realize just how lucky we are to be treated to such kickass racing action at a track that goes above and beyond to make sure each show is the best it can be. From treating racers and fans like family, to all the hard work it takes during the week and during the off-season to keep things headed the right direction, it's quite impressive. So I want to sincerely thank Buck, Amy and the entire gang at Hilltop for all that they do to provide us with our racing fix, and my home away from home. THANKS to all of you!



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