Hill Starts Southern Nationals On Right Foot
RURAL RETREAT, Va. — Vic Hill kicked off the Schaeffer Oil Southern Nationals Series with a visit to victory lane Monday night at Wythe Raceway.
To say that Hill has developed a liking to Wythe Raceway would be an understatement. Back in the first weekend in June, Hill obliterated the former super-late-model track qualifying record of 16.082 (held by Ray Cook) by lowering the new standard to 15.863-seconds, and then went on to a very impressive flag-to-flag run to victory in the Ultimate Super Late Model Series event.
Hill started Monday’s 35-lap Southern Nationals Series main event from third on the grid and passed defending and three-time series champion Chris Madden between turns three and four on lap 24 to take over the lead, en route to capturing his third career series victory, worth $3,500.
Madden, from Gray Court, S.C., toured the monster half-mile at 16.021-seconds to earn the FK Rod Ends pole award. Madden and Austin Dillon led the 22-car field to green from the front row.
Four successive caution periods lap four to lap 12 over slowed the action and kept the field packed together. Back up to speed, Madden quickly put about 10 car lengths between himself and Austin Dillon and Hill. All eyes were focused on the battle for second between Austin Dillon, winner of last year’s Wythe Raceway Southern Nationals Series event, and Hill.
Hill got alongside of Austin Dillon on lap 16, racing off turn two, and at end of backstretch Hill drove his ride in deep between turns three and four to slide up in front of the oldest grandson of legendary NASCAR race team owner Richard Childress to take over second place. Hill set his sights ahead on leader Madden, who held right at a half-straightaway advantage.
Hill, a five-time super-late-model track champion at Volunteer Speedway, about 110 miles down Interstate 81 from Wythe Raceway, closed to within striking distance of Madden on lap 20 as the leader began to work lapped traffic.
Racing down the front straightaway into the first turn on lap 24, Hill looked to inside of Madden between (turns) one and two. But Madden slammed the door and the duo rocketed down the backstretch into the third turn with Hill right on Madden’s rear bumper.
With lapped cars directly in front of Madden, Hill made his move dropping to the inside and racing up off the fourth turn he powered into a lead he would never relinquish.
“I hope the fans enjoyed this race, because from my vantage point it was definitely exciting there as (Chris) Madden and I battled for the lead through the lapped traffic,” said Hill. “Our car was very good tonight, and I really felt I’d be able to reel (Chris) Madden in pretty easily once I was able to get around Austin (Dillon) for second. I had to work on Dillon there for several laps because entering the corners I could get underneath him, but racing off the top-side he was just able to carry a little more momentum down the straightaway. After we cleared Austin, I don’t know – it was about four or five laps and we had erased Madden’s lead to close right on his tail.”
Madden ended up second, followed by Kenny Compton, Jr., Mike Marlar and Billy Ogle, Jr.
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