Photo by Dale Calnan/Image Factor Media
By Carin Sundin
OHSWEKEN, Ont. (August 13, 2018) – Ohsweken Speedway officials are pleased to have Gillian Hils and her No. 32 HRW Automotive Mini Stock “In The Driver’s Seat” this week.
Each week “In the Driver’s Seat” showcases a driver from the Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stock or HRW Automotive Mini Stock divisions to provide some insight into the driver in the firesuit and behind the wheel.
Hils would like to thank her sponsors Insta-Panels and Epic Racewear for their support. She would like to send special thanks and appreciation to her Dad, Glen Hils, for his help, advice and the support that he provides week in and week out to keep her running competitively.
How old were you when you started racing? What division/class? How long have you been in the Mini Stock division?
GH “I started racing when I was 16 at Flamboro Speedway in the Pure Stocks. Later the same year I painted up one of my dad’s old Enduro cars and raced in the Bomber division at Ohsweken Speedway. I first raced in the Mini Stock division in 2015. I had some good finishes and a win early in the season but after some bad luck later in the season, I chose to go back to the Bomber division for the next two seasons. Luckily, with the help for Alex from Insta-Panels we were able to put together a fast Mini Stock car for the 2018 season and keep playing on the dirt.”
How did you get involved in racing?
GH “I grew up in a racing family. After watching my Dad, uncles and cousins race and compete in demolition events I knew it was something I’d like to do one day. As I got older I tried to help Dad with his cars and I’d race around in field cars until I was ready to start racing on a real track.”
What was your scariest situation in a race car?
GH “The scariest wreck I’ve ever had in a racecar was probably rolling my car in a demo cross race at the Rockton fairgrounds. If you’ve never heard of demo cross, it’s a race where they set up an oval track inside the demo derby area but halfway down the straightaway there are jumps to race over. I started out front but got turned sideways over the first jump causing my car to start to roll as the next two cars were coming over the jump causing them to run over my car.”
Do you get “race nerves” before a race?
GH “Usually not until I’m sitting in the line up and see a tough pack of cars starting in front of me. But at least most nights we are waiting for the race ahead of us to finish and that gives me time to think up a pretty good plan to get by them.”
What is your favourite race moment to date (as a driver, fan, growing up, etc.)?
GH “I’ll never forget one night at Flamboro Speedway. I got out front early to run side by side with long time Flamboro Speedway racer Andy Wheller for the lead in the heat race. I ended up getting the heat win. Then we went back out for the feature and had almost the exact same race all over again with Andy edging me out for the checkered flag. That night was probably the most intense battle I’ve had racing.”
If you could race in any other class, which would it be?
GH “I don’t think I could pick just one other class I’d like to race in. There are so many different types of racing I’d like to try. Like drag racing, road course, or rally.”
What advice would you give anyone who is interested in getting into racing?
GH “Just do it. It’s a crazy experience. Lots of tracks have Enduro racing, which is a more affordable way to see if you’d like to stick with it and you get a lot of laps and seat time under your belt.”
What driver do you most admire? Do they influence your driving style?
GH “Of course I’ve gotta say my dad! Growing up it seemed like he won just about every race he went in. I remember nights when we couldn’t go to the track with him and I’d wake up the next morning to check the dining room table for a new trophy. Dad has a lot more aggressive racing style then I do, which has won him a few more races then I could of, but I think my pile of bent parts is probably a bit smaller.”
If you could compete in any race, what would it be? Which track?
GH “I think I’d like to try out New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It looks like a really fast track that is still pretty tight and tricky to get around.”
Do you have any race day or pre-race superstitions?
GH “I did when I first started racing but I’m not as worried about it now. Most of the superstitions I think about are when we are building the car. Like I’d never paint my race car green and we avoid cars with the number 68 in the VIN. Dad swears that number is bad luck.”
With a number of top-five finishes this season, Hils is the current point leader in the HRW Automotive Mini Stock division. Ohsweken Speedway would like to wish Gillian and the No. 32 HRW Automotive Mini Stock team continued success and safe 2018 season. Thank you Gillian Hils for sitting “In The Driver’s Seat” this week.
Canadian Sprint Car Nationals Tickets and Camping Available Now!
Advanced reserved seating tickets are on sale now for the 14th annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals on September 14-15 are on sale now! The event features two full nights of Sprint Car action, including Saturday’s $10,000-to-win Feature Event. Visit www.ohswekenspeedway.ticketforce.com or call 519-717-0023 to order and for more information. For the full 2018 schedule of events, click here.
Ohsweken Speedway Live Stream
Can’t make it to the track or don’t live within driving distance? No problem! Check out all of Ohsweken’s weekly Friday Night Excitement action live online for free via the Ohsweken Speedway Live Stream. The stream goes live at 7:30pm EST each race night at www.OhswekenSpeedway.ca and on our official Facebook page.
Ohsweken Speedway’s 23rd season of weekly Friday Night Excitement features four divisions of racing, including the Kool Kidz-Corr/Pak 360 Sprint Cars, Strickland’s GMC Crate Sprint Cars, Middleport Mechanical Thunder Stocks and HRW Automotive Mini Stocks. Visit www.OhswekenSpeedway.com to view the schedule or call (519) 717-0023 for more information.
About Ohsweken Speedway: Founded in 1996, Ohsweken Speedway is a motorsports complex which includes a 3/8 (0.375) mile clay oval track. The facility is owned by the Styres family, and located in the village of Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. Ohsweken’s weekly Friday night racing program runs from May to September each year, featuring 360 Sprint Cars, Crate Sprint Cars, Thunder Stocks, and Mini Stocks, while the season finishes each year with the annual Canadian Sprint Car Nationals. Ohsweken Speedway also hosts weekly Micro Sprint racing on Thursday nights.
OHSWEKEN SPEEDWAY MEDIA
Phone: (519) 717-0023
Ohsweken Speedway thanks the following partners for their support in 2018: Arrow Express, Kool Kidz Ice & Water, Corr/Pak Merchandising Inc., Renway Energy, Case IH O’Neil’s Farm Equipment, Hoosier Tire Canada, EPIC Racewear, McDonald’s Restaurants of Paris & Brantford, Ackland Insurance, Strickland’s GMC, Lucas Oil Products, Burger Barn, Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, Insta-Insulation, Middleport Mechanical, HRW Automotive, and Gale’s Auto Aftermarket.