NEW CASTLE, Ind.— June 10, 2013— Tracy Hines never had seen Susquehanna Speedway Park in Pennsylvania, until Sunday afternoon, but he didn’t let that slow him down. He ran second for the majority of the 30-lap event and took the lead for an instant, before a red flag negated that pass, and would end up earning the final spot on the podium to score his best finish of the 2013 Eastern Storm Tour for the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series, following a sixth-place effort on Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway.
The Eastern Storm Tour for the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series was originally scheduled to consist of four races, but the event at Path Valley Speedway on Thursday, June 6 fell to rain. Races at Susquehanna, Port Royal and Grandview Speedway were all completed. In the final point standings for the three-race mini-series, Hines ended up fourth.
Hines, piloting his Hansen’s Welding Inc. DRC, started on the front row on Sunday, June 9 at Susquehanna Speedway Park and ran second to polesitter Shane Cottle in the early going, as the pair pulled away from the rest of the field. The race was slowed on the seventh circuit for a red flag. Hines stayed right with Cottle on the restart and 12 laps later on lap-19 was able to get around Cottle, but another red flag came out before that lap was completed, relegating Hines to second on the restart. The native of New Castle, Ind., lost a spot on the restart and would run third for the remainder of the 30-lapper to finish on the podium.
Hines began the event at Susquehanna Speedway Park by timing in fifth-quickest of the 29 drivers that took to the four-tenths-mile oval, with a lap of 17.525-seconds. He finished third in the first eight-lap heat race to earn a spot in the main event. The third-place finish for Hines was his third top-five of the year with the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series to go along with a pair of wins back in February at Bubba Raceway Park in Florida.
“I had one chance there to make something happen and unfortunately the red flag came out,” said Hines. “That’s just racing. Sometimes it works out in your favor and sometimes it doesn’t. We got better at each of the three tracks we hit during the week and I am feeling pretty good about our package right now. The main thing is to just keep racing to keep the momentum and rhythm going.”
On Saturday, June 8, Hines finished sixth at Port Royal Speedway, to earn his second straight top-10 finish at the track. He opened the night by turning the fastest lap in time trials of the 26 entries, recording a lap of 21.120-seconds around the sprawling half-mile. Hines would charge from the sixth starting spot in the first eight-lap heat race to finish third, which transferred him to the main event, where he also started sixth.
“That was the first big track we have ran the sprint car on all year, so we definitely made the most of hot laps and tried a few things that worked out pretty well,” he shared. “After Midget Week, we have a couple of more half-miles in the sprint car, so I am looking forward to those races to use some of what worked at Port Royal and Susquehanna.”
Hines kicked-off the 2013 Eastern Storm Tour with an 11th-place performance at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa., on Wednesday, June 5. He opened the night as the ninth-quickest qualifier of the 29 entries. The veteran driver crossed the line third in the first eight-lap heat race to transfer to the 40-lap Jesse Hockett Classic. Hines ran near the top-10 for the duration of the main event, crossing the line 11th to earn his fifth straight finish of 11th or better at the high-banked third-mile bullring.
“We were just a tick off it seemed like all night,” Hines noted. “It’s tough to start in the middle of the pack and be in contention with these guys. We just have to keep working on our qualifying package for the smaller tracks, so that we put ourselves in a better position for later in the night. It would have been great to have gotten all four races in, but at least we got three in, and with how the weather has been this year, that was an accomplishment in itself.”
Upon completion of the Eastern Storm Tour, Hines is seventh in the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series standings. He has two wins this season to go along with five top-10 finishes. The 2002 USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series champion returns to the track this week with the annual running of Indiana Midget Week, which will see five races in five nights at five tracks.
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.