"Thunder in the Dome race report

Indianapolis, IN, March 10, 2001 - Forty Seven year old Jim Hettinger of Lansing, Michigan called on age and experience to post his third career victory in the 100 lap Thunder-in-the-Dome USAC Invitational at the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis...

Indianapolis, IN, March 10, 2001 - Forty Seven year old Jim Hettinger of Lansing, Michigan called on age and experience to post his third career victory in the 100 lap Thunder-in-the-Dome USAC Invitational at the RCA Dome in downtown Indianapolis Saturday night. Hetting led all but the first twenty laps driving his Brantley Motorsports/MPA/Autocraft VW. He was aided considerably by a race long nose to tail battle between Donnie Lehmann, Tracy Hines, and A. J. Fike.

Virtually no overlapping took place because everytime Hettinger came up on the back markers a yellow came out and the one lap reversion put a clear track ahead of him.

Lehmann was in command the first two decades of laps with Hettinger tight behind him. After he got by on lap 21 the yellow #71 VW cruised easily to half lap leads because Lehman just could not keep chase. With ten laps to go Tracy Hines, who started way back in twelth spot, laid a nerf bar on Lehmann just light enough to slip by.

At the finish behind Hettinger it was Hines in the #22 Mack McClelland VW Hawk, A.J. Fike in the RFMS Racing VW, Lehman in his own Fontana powered car and Matt Westfall in the Turner Racing Gaerte.

Fourteen cars were running at the finish out of the twenty four car starting field. Dave Darland was unable to start due to a broken fuel fitting which was discovered during push off.

-Len Ashburn

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series USAC
Drivers Dave Darland , Tracy Hines , Matt Westfall , A.J. Fike