New Castle, Ind.— May 26, 2013— As has been the case most every weekend this season, Mother Nature tried her best to prevent Tracy Hines and his fellow USAC competitors from racing over the Memorial Day weekend in Indiana, but in the end perseverance paid off as both the Hoosier 100 and the Night Before the 500 were completed. Following the two historic races in his home state, Hines found himself on the podium with a pair of third-place finishes.
“It was good to finally get two races in during a weekend,” said Hines. “With the rain on Thursday, it kind of looked like it may be the same as the last few weeks and again on Saturday when it started falling. The track crews at both places did a great job to make sure we were able to race and thanks to all the fans that stuck it out with us.”
The Memorial Day weekend was scheduled to begin for Hines on Thursday, May 23, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the running of the Hoosier 100 for the USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series, but the event was postponed a day by rain. On Friday, May 24, the veteran driver opened the event by turning the second-fastest lap in time trials, which put him on the outside of the front row for the 100-lap contest at the one-mile dirt oval.
Hines ran second for the first 34 laps of the Hoosier 100, following a caution on the opening circuit. The caution flag flew a total of three times during the first half of the race. At the halfway point, the 2000 USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series champion, found himself in the fifth spot. Hines would move into fourth on lap-79 when Brian Tyler had problems and would also pick up one more spot down the stretch to finish third aboard the Lightfoot Racing Beast with a Stanton Mopar under the hood.
“We were fast right out of the box against a strong field of cars,” he shared. “You always want to win, but first off, we were just glad to finally get the Silver Crown season underway. We have a strong package again this year and I’m looking forward to seeing what we have on the pavement next weekend.”
On Saturday, May 25 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in the Night Before the 500 for the Honda USAC National Midget Series, Hines was the fastest qualifier of the 22 entries. He logged a lap of 20.755-seconds in the Parker Machinery/Powered by Toyota Spike at the 0.686-mile paved oval. A pair of scrambles were on-tap to set the starting lineup for the main event, with an inversion of seven for each of those 12-lappers. Hines worked his way from the inside of the fourth row to finish third, which put him fifth on the grid for the A-Feature.
Following a lengthy rain delay, the main event was shortened from 50 laps to 30 laps. After falling back a couple of spots at the start, Hines began to work his way forward and was up to fourth just before the halfway point of the race. He had a side-by-side battle with Kyle O’Gara late in the race for the third position and was able to get by the young driver to finish on the podium.
“Again, we were happy to get the race in, especially for the fans that came out,” Hines noted. “To start the night off fastest in qualifying was great. We had to start from a little ways back in the scramble and was able to pick up a few spots. The car really came on late in the race. It might have been a different outcome if the race would have been the original 50 laps, but you never know. We have a handful more pavement midget races this year, so we’ll come back next time and try to get a win.”
The Tony Hulman Classic for the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series scheduled for Wednesday, May 22 at the Terre Haute Action Track was postponed by rain and has been rescheduled for Friday, June 21.
Following the season opening race for the USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series, Hines is third in points, just six markers out of the lead as he chases his second series title. With the Honda USAC National Midget Series pavement championship, the native of New Castle, Ind., is fourth in points, 16 markers out of the top spot, with three races completed in 2013.
Hines returns to action next weekend at Tri-City Speedway in Illinois, for the running of the Hut 100 for the Honda USAC National Midget Series dirt championship on Friday, May 31. He then heads to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., for the second race of the USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Series on Saturday, June 1.
Tracy Hines Racing would like to thank: Hansen’s Welding Inc., Parker Machinery, Motor City Auto Transport, Turbines, Inc., Afco Racing Products, Daum Crop Insurance, Schoenfeld Headers, Allstar Performance, Kenny’s Components, Race Bumpers and Bell Racing.