SALEM, Indiana (September 13, 2012) – – He’s back. After making his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at Salem (Ind.) Speedway this past April, Blake Hillard returns to the series looking for another opportunity to gain more experience in a stock car in Saturday night’s Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic by Federated Car Care.
In the spring, the quiet, humble but yet determined 23-year old qualified a respectable 24thand raced his way comfortably into the top-15 before being sidelined by a mechanical failure.
While the Owensboro, Kentucky native didn’t see that checkered flag six months ago, Hillard’s purpose this weekend is to continue his learning curve in the ARCA Racing Series and conquer any road blocks behind the wheel of his Hillard Racing machine and see that checkered flag.
“I’m glad to be back this weekend,” said Hillard, a competitor in the ARCA / CRA Series. “I learned a lot in my ARCA debut earlier this year and that should help me a ton coming back to Salem this weekend. There was so much that I learned in April. I know what I can do and can’t do with an ARCA car – so our performance should elevate forward on Saturday night.”
Speaking of performance, the Hillard Racing participated in a private test session at the 0.5-mile paved oval last week and the results of it have left a good vibe amongst the members of the volunteer-crew for Saturday night’s anticipated thriller.
“The test went very well,” offered Hillard. “The car adjusted well to the changes and our lap times were better than before, so overall we have a good upbeat demeanor about the race this weekend. Obviously, we know its short track racing, so almost anything can happen – but we’ve done everything possible to make sure what happened in the spring, doesn’t happen again.”
Hillard’s friend Brett Hudson won’t be on the sidelines standing next to him this weekend as he did in April. Instead, Hudson himself will be competing in the 18th ARCA race of the year – but Hillard is excited about having the opportunity to race against him this weekend.
“I’m glad to see Brett back at Salem,” Hillard noted. “Brett is a great driver and a strong competitor. I haven’t raced against him this year and I am looking forward to racing with him again. Brett and I grew up racing against each other since we were kids and we have a lot of respect for each other. This should be an exciting race and who knows what will happen when it comes down to the end of the race. It’s going to be a lot of fun, that’s guaranteed.”
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic by Federated Car Care (200 laps / 111 miles) is the 18th of 20 events on the 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. The 92nd ARCA race held at Salem Speedway is a one day show.Practice begins Saturday, September 15 with a forty-five minute session planned from 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Final practice also consisting of forty-five minutes begins at 1:45 p.m. and will conclude at 2:30 p.m. Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell is set for later in the day slated to begin at 4:00 p.m. An on-track autograph session has been etched in immediately following qualifying. The event will take the green flag shortly after 7:15 p.m. later that night. The race will not be televised but additional coverage including a radio broadcast and timing and scoring will be available through the ARCA Racing Network (ARN) online at arcaracing.com. All times are local (Eastern).