New Castle, Ind.— Having two straight weekends rained out feels like an eternity for a racer. Just ask Tracy Hines, who has put in plenty of hours in the shop recently, but would much rather be at the track mixing it up. With three races scheduled in his home state of Indiana this weekend, he’ll get the chance to compete and also show his versatility. Hines will contest a pair of races with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series along with the season opener for the USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series.
Hines opens the weekend on Friday, April 26 at Gas City I-69 Speedway with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series in his own Hansen’s Welding Inc. DRC with a Stanton Mopar engine under the hood. Action then shifts to Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville on Saturday, April 27 for the sprinters. The USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series season opening 50-lap Sumar Classic follows on Sunday, April 28 at the Terre Haute Action Track for Hines in the Lightfoot Racing No. 16 Beast.
“We are definitely anxious to get on the track and get all of the races in this weekend,” said Hines. “After a long layoff like we’ve had the last couple of weekends, it will be great to get to race at three tracks we’ve had some good runs at over the years. We’re looking to get back on track with the sprint car and open the Silver Crown season on a strong note.”
Hines raced a total of seven times in a sprint car at Gas City last season, with two of those appearances being with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series. He finished a season-best fourth at the always racy quarter-mile in May with the King of Indiana Sprint Series (KISS). The 2002 USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series champion has won twice with the series at Gas City in his career, with the most coming in 2010.
“We turned a lot of laps at Gas City last year and feel like we have a pretty good combination there,” he noted. “With it being early in the season, there will probably be quite a few cars on-hand, so qualifying well will definitely be important. Gas City is a place you always have to be on your toes at and keep up with what the surface is doing all night.”
Hines, who has two career victorious at Lincoln Park Speedway with the USAC National Midget Series, competed once at the high-banked, 5/16-mile last year with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series. That start came during Indiana Sprint Week. His best finish in 2012 at Lincoln Park was an eighth-place showing in a midget during Indiana Midget Week with the USAC National Midget Series.
“Lincoln Park can be a very challenging track,” he noted. “We only race there a couple of times a year and they always seem to have a strong field of cars there, so making the most of hot laps and turning in a good qualifying effort is a key to having a good night. These will be the first two races we’ve had on smaller tracks with the sprint car and it will be a good chance to see how we stack up on the tighter tracks.”
At the Terre Haute Action Track last year with the USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series, Hines finished fifth, which was one of five top-10 finishes he recorded over the course of the season. He raced four times last year at the historic half-mile, which is the only half-mile dirt track in the state of Indiana. Three of those appearances came in a sprint car with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series. He finished a season-best third at Terre Haute during Indiana Sprint Week and was fourth in the fall at the venue. Hines enters this season with nine career USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series wins, which is ninth on the series all-time win list.
“We finished last season at Terre Haute in the Silver Crown car and had a pretty good run, so hopefully we can build on that,” he shared. “With this being the first race of the season at Terre Haute we’ll pay extra attention to the surface early in the night and see how it settled after the winter and the all of the rainy weather early this spring. I’ve come close to winning in a Silver Crown car at Terre Haute in the past and it’s certainly one of those places I want to win at.”
Entering the pair of races with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series this weekend, Hines is fifth in points on the strength of two wins in the first four races of the season. In 2012, he finished ninth in points with the USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series and claimed the series title in 2000.
|Photo Courtesy of Mark Miefert|