Hillenburg King At Eldora

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Andy Hillenburg, who had never won a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series feature race at Eldora Speedway before this season, prepared for its 18th Annual Kings Royal with his second straight victory Friday.

Hillenburg, who passed 1996 Kings Royal champion Johnny Herrera on his way to a $10,000 victory at "The World's Fastest Half-Mile" June 2nd, led all 35 laps in the "Night Before The Kings Royal."

"This is the way Eldora Speedway's supposed to be -- up against the wall wide open," Hillenburg said. "This J&J chassis was perfect tonight, and the Ott motor and Hoosier tires did the job. The first thing we have to do is fix the power steering. It went out on me about half way through, and this place is pretty tough to drive with no (power) steering. If the car's this good tomorrow, I guess we have a pretty good shot at it."

Hillenburg survived two caution periods in the final eight laps to win his fourth main event of the season by 1.2 seconds.

"Every time you have a caution here, you take a chance on someone sliding you going into turn one on the restart," Andy said. "I just ran it in there as hard as I could, and it worked every time tonight."

Mark Kinser, who chased Hillenburg throughout the "A" Feature, regained the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead by finishing in second place. The series' two-time champion has exchanged the lead in the point standings with Danny Lasoski 11 times this year.

Hillenburg, the 16th-fastest qualifier in the 44-car field, won the Fourth O'Reilly Heat Race and his fourth Channellock Dash of the season for the privilege of starting the "A" Feature on the pole.

Hillenburg drove his No. 2 Luxaire J&J into the lead as the green flag fell in the main event. Tim Shaffer passed Second O'Reilly Heat Race winner Craig Dollansky in the first corner, then raced wheel-to-wheel with Kinser through turn two. Mark beat the 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year down the back stretch to maintain the runner-up spot.

Rookie of the Year candidate Brad Furr spun in the first corner and collected Jim Nier early in the sixth lap. Although neither driver was injured in the crash, their cars were unable to continue racing.

Steve Kinser, who has won 23 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main events at Eldora Speedway, passed Dollansky for seventh place, while Sammy Swindell passed Stevie Smith for fourth late in lap eight. Donny Schatz and "The King of the Outlaws" raced past Smith during the ninth and 11th laps, respectively.

Hillenburg was 1.1 seconds ahead of Mark Kinser when he caught the back-markers early in lap 13.

Steve Kinser, who started inside the fifth row, continued his run toward the front in lapped traffic during the race's middle stages. He drove his No. a11 Quaker State Maxim past Schatz in the low groove between the first and second corners, then passed Swindell deep in turn four for fourth place late in lap 17.

Kasey Kahne took the leaders out of lapped traffic the next time around when he hit the wall and stopped in the fourth corner. Jeff Shepard stopped on the front straightaway five laps later when the No. 5 Wirtgen America Maxim suffered a broken rear end.

Schatz took the inside line through turns one and two to pass Swindell for fifth place as the green flag replaced the yellow. After Jac Haudenschild stopped on the front stretch with a flat left rear tire early in the 28th lap, Schatz drove his family's No. 15 Parker Stores J&J past Steve Kinser in the same spot on the ensuing restart.

"B" Feature winner Paul McMahan hit the outside retaining wall in the fourth corner late in lap 32, setting up a three-lap dash to the checkered flag. "The King of the Outlaws" challenged Schatz for third place as the race resumed, but was unable to surge ahead.

The Nmo. 11H Vivarin Maxim ran out of fuel with 1 1/4 laps remaining, forcing Shaffer to coast into the infield and surrender sixth place.

Schatz held off Steve Kinser for third. Swindell finished in fifth place ahead of First O'Reilly Heat Race winner Randy Hannagan, Lasoski, Dollansky, Smith and 16th-starting Kenny Jacobs.

Herrera used a provisional to start the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 37th main event of the season and drove Lonny Parsons' No. 6 Casey's General Stores Maxim past 14 cars to finish 11th.

Related Topics:

World of Outlaws, 2001, Eldora Clash

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