Jason Hiett visited the victory lanes of various tracks around the southeast a total of 13 times in 2015. That impressive number of wins included five triumphs in his final ten starts of the season. Among those were wins on consecutive weekends at Boyd’s Speedway and Cleveland Speedway in Limited Late Model competition for the Oxford, Ala. resident.
And now Hiett believes that he and his team can maintain that momentum going into the 2016 campaign.
“We should pick up right where we were at,” Hiett claimed in an interview with InsideDirtRacing.com. “We really haven’t made any changes this year, we’re still in Capital Race Cars and we’ve still got Vinson Race Engines. I think it will be a smooth transition as we’re going to try to venture out and get to some tracks we haven’t been to like here at 411. We may struggle a little bit at those tracks, but you’ve got to go to those and get good at them. Then we’ll also hit a bunch of the ones we’ve already done. I think we’ll pick up right where we left off on the tracks we’ve already been to.”
While Hiett experienced success in his Limited Late Model ride last year, he intends to focus much of his energy and efforts elsewhere in the coming campaign.
“We’ll do a little mix here and there, but I won’t run a lot of Limited stuff because we want to focus on our Super stuff,” the 31-year-old driver explained. “But when we do have a chance to run both classes, we’ll do that some.”
Hiett doesn’t anticipate running any particular series this season due to the commitment and time required to run his Freestyle Graphics business. He also has a six-year-old son who will begin his own racing career in go-karts in 2016.
“We’re more of a pick and choose type team,” the driver said. “It’s hard for us to hit all those tracks on a series due to work and stuff. We’ll venture out some. I like Ray Cook’s deal so we’ll go to a bunch of his races, and we’ll hit a lot of Southern All Stars stuff because it’s around the house. But I don’t see us running any series.”
Hiett will be competing in the Super Late Model class this year in a new Capital chassis. With the rapidly advancing technology in Dirt Late Model racing today, the veteran racer believes it is important to stay on the cutting edge of the sport.
“It’s real important that each year you stay up to date,” he pointed out. “We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to get a new chassis each of the last three or four years. We’ve had a lot of people who have helped us out through the years that have got us in good equipment. So yeah, it definitely helps to be in good equipment. I feel like if you’re in an older car that you’re getting behind on technology.”
Due to the likelihood of branching out more, Hiett has formulated a plan for visiting new tracks.
“We generally just take the first time we go as a practice session,” he explained. “If we run good, we run good. If we don’t, nobody’s mad at anybody. Most of the time it works out and we run good, but every once in a while, you’ll have a bad race. You just learn from that and you get better the next time you come back.”
Hiett has already begun the 2016 season on a positive note after scoring a runner-up finish in the Hangover on New Year’s Day at 411 Motor Speedway then adding a third place effort in the Ice Bowl at Talladega Short Track a week later. However, his goals call for even more.
“I have the goal that I want to win a $10,000 or more race,” Hiett declared. “That was my goal all last year and it’ll be my goal this year. With that being said, you’ve got to go to more of those races. You can’t just go to two or three because you didn’t really give yourself a good chance. We’re going to try to do some more of that in the races that are closer to home that we can go to that pay bigger money.”
And there will be plenty of opportunities to accomplish that mission with a number of high paying races in the area near his race shop.
“That’s a good thing. I think there’s a lot of good races we can go to that are three or four hours from the house where we’ve got a good shot at winning those things or running good.”
Hiett will be back in action at the Cabin Fever at Boyd’s Speedway on Saturday, January 23 then in the Southern Nationals Bonus race at 411 Motor Speedway on February 27.