STAFFORD – JJ Hill may have inherited a lead, but nobody could say he was given anything Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Mike Quintiliano of Shelton was second and Adam Gray of Belchertown, Mass. third.
It was the third career victory in the division for Hill, but first victory in the new car his family built during the offseason. It was the second event on the track for the car.
“Words can’t describe this,” Hill said. “We had the other car for years and it took us like three [years] to get a win. We’re out here for like two weeks and this car gets us to victory lane.”
The first 33 laps of the event went caution-free, with Jim Mavlouganes building a big lead on the field. On the restart after the first caution, Gray got under Mavlouganes coming out of turn four and briefly took the lead before Mavlouganes hit him and spun him out of the top spot. Mavlouganes was penalized for the incident, giving Hill the lead.
It lead to a mass of wrecks on the track, leaving Hill defending his lead to challenges from numerous drivers. In his first two career victories Hill had driven away from the field.
“This is probably the first that you could say we earned,” Hill said. “Every other one has been a half track ahead. We had the late race restarts this time. Put us through a test.”
Hill didn’t want to recount just what happened on the numerous late restarts.
“You try not to think so I don’t remember right now” Hill said. “I just keep it calm.”
Said Quintiliano: “He was running good. I couldn’t get him. I got up to him as close as I could but he was running a really good line, he was smooth.”
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