NEW CASTLE, Ind.— Aug. 6, 2013— Indiana, Illinois and Iowa all have a deep history of USAC racing and this week each of the three Midwestern states will host Sprint Car and Midget races at a trio of venues. Tracy Hines has won plenty of races in Indiana and Illinois over the years and has come close on a few times to winning in Iowa and will have another opportunity to make his first trip to Victory Lane in the Hawkeye State this week.
The tree-race stretch opens for Hines on Tuesday, Aug. 6, on the dirt in his self-owned Hansen’s Welding Inc. DRC with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series for the running of the Casey’s General Stores Ultimate Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa. The veteran driver will then head to his home state of Indiana on Friday, Aug. 9, to pilot the Parker Machinery/Powered by Toyota Spike in a Honda USAC National Midget Series Pavement Championship race at the half-mile Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, which is in the northwest corner of the state. Hines will wrap up the trio of races with another pavement midget start at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Ill., on Saturday, Aug. 10.
“This is another busy week for us, but when you are running as well as we have been the last few weeks, you want to race as much as you can,” said Hines. “It’s been a few weeks since we’ve raced the sprint car, so I’m looking forward to getting back in it. With how strong our asphalt midget program has been this year, we are pretty excited for the two races over the weekend.”
Hines, the 2002 USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series champion, has competed at the half-mile Southern Iowa Speedway each of the last three years. He has finished eighth in each of those 30-lap contests, which this year offers a $10,000 top prize. On half-mile tracks with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series in 2013, Hines has a pair of top-10 finishes in three starts.
“We haven’t run all that much on big tracks this year, but the few times we have, we’ve been pretty good,” he shared. “That’s one of the highest paying events of the season, so you always want to be in contention in those. I’ve been stuck on finishing eighths the last few years over there, so hopefully we can move up a few more spots this year and contend for a win.”
The native of New Castle, Ind., has finished second in each of his last two starts at Illiana in two different types of race cars. He most recently competed at the historic Chicago-area track in 2006 with the former PRA Big Car Series, racing in the Southshore 125. He also raced in the last Honda USAC National Midget Series event at the facility in 2001, scoring a runner-up finish, after leading the opening 10 laps of the 30-lap main event. He began the night by turning the fifth-fastest lap in time trials of the solid 32-car field in attendance and finished second in the first heat race to earn a spot in the A-Feature.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve raced at Illiana (Motor Speedway), and even longer since we’ve had a midget race there,” he said. “I came pretty close to winning last time we ran at Illiana and hopefully remember enough about the track to have a good baseline when we unload. We only have a few asphalt races left this year and we want to make the most of them.”
Hines has made two starts with the Honda USAC National Midget Series at the high-banked, third-mile Grundy County Speedway. He finished second in a 50-lap main event in 2011, leading 26 laps, including taking the white flag at the front of field, before being passed in turn two coming to the checkered flag. Last season at Grundy County he was 14th in an event that was co-sanctioned by the Honda USAC National Midget Series and the STARS Midget Series.
“Two years ago we were really good at Grundy County (Speedway) and then last year we just missed the set-up,” Hines said. “That’s a unique track and a momentum-type place with all of that banking. Midgets typically are pretty racy there. If we can qualify well and run good in the qualifying race, we’ll give ourselves a good chance at it.”
Entering the Ultimate Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway, Hines is eighth in points with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series. He has two wins this season to go with seven top-10 finishes. In the Honda USAC National Midget Series Pavement Championship he leads the standings on the strength of two wins and five finishes of eighth or better in five starts.
Tracy Hines Racing would like to thank: Hansen’s Welding Inc., Parker Machinery, Powered by Toyota, Motor City Auto Transport, Turbines, Inc., Afco Racing Products, Daum Crop Insurance, Schoenfeld Headers, Allstar Performance, Kenny’s Components, Race Bumpers and Bell Racing.