New Castle, Ind.— Winning two of out three races in a season at a particular track with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series is a pretty good accomplishment. When that track is the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio, the feat becomes even more remarkable. That’s what Tracy Hines was able to accomplish last season as he was victorious in the series first stop at the track in the spring and also returned to Victory Lane at Eldora in the fall. He’ll look to continue his hot streak at the legendary oval this weekend as the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series makes their first of two visits this season to the high-banked, half-mile.
Hines will hit the track at Eldora for the Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic aboard his Hansen’s Welding Equipment DRC on Saturday, April 20. A full racing program is in store, beginning with hot laps and qualifying, followed by heat races and a 30-lap A-Feature.
“After the midget show last weekend fell to weather, I am definitely ready to get back to the track this weekend,” said Hines. “It’s always hit or miss in the spring in the Midwest, so hopefully Mother Nature cooperates. The more we race, the easier it get into a good rhythm and keep that going.”
The native of New Castle, Ind., has won seven races at Eldora with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series in his career, including three times in the Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic. He scored his first win with the series at the track in 1999 and has won in five different seasons at the half-mile. Twice in his career he has doubled up on wins at Eldora in the same year in a sprint car, including last year.
“I’ve always seemed to run pretty well at Eldora and really enjoy going there,” said Hines. “Over the years, I’ve really learned how to drive that track and still continue to learn new things every time I race there. It’s always one of the places we circle on the calendar and look forward to going to.”
In the 4-Crown Nationals last fall at Eldora, Hines started on the pole and paced all 30 circuits to pick up the win. During the spring event at the track, he used a last lap pass to take the win from Dave Darland. The series returned to Eldora in July, with Hines finishing 10th in that contest. The veteran driver has finished in the top-10 in each of his last four starts at Eldora with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series.
“To duplicate what we did at Eldora last year would be great,” he shared. “We have a good set-up for there and as long as we qualify well and put ourselves in a good position I think we should be in contention. Going to Eldora is always a good measuring stick to see how you stack up against everyone, especially in the engine department. We have a great package with the car, shocks and engine right now and I feel pretty good headed over there.”
Hines has two victories this season with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series, which has him sitting fifth in points. In four starts with the series in 2013 he has finished 12th or better in all four of those contests.