On the Mark: Dion Hindi Takes Aim at Wilmot Speedway Wilmot, WI--Sept. 19, 2006 -- Concentration, skill, and precision are all vital in wheeling a sprint car around a race track and being successful. These are also key elements for a marksman,...
On the Mark: Dion Hindi Takes Aim at Wilmot Speedway
Wilmot, WI--Sept. 19, 2006 -- Concentration, skill, and precision are all vital in wheeling a sprint car around a race track and being successful. These are also key elements for a marksman, when he is taking aim at a target. Dion Hindi uses his passion for shooting to keep his skills and reflexes keen in the cockpit of his race car as he competes with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series.
Hindi will showcase these skills Saturday night on the race track, as the series makes their inaugural appearance at Wilmot (Wisc.) Speedway.
With the amount of travel Hindi does, and the countless hours he spends working on the race car, he does not get to go shooting as much as he would like. While on the west coast for the Gold Rush Tour, the well-spoken driver had a chance to take his crew out shooting.
"There is a place that is only a couple of miles from Jac Haudenschild's car owner's house," said Hindi, driver of the Realtruck.com J&J. "We had been there in the past and this year we had a week off, so we went out there a couple times. It's like golf, but more exciting to us."
Calling Albuquerque, New Mexico home, Hindi fondly recalls how he became interested in shooting. He cannot remember the exact age he was when he first took to the range, but he still learns something new every time he takes a shot. He also has become a collector of firearms, and takes great ride in explaining the intricacies of each unique gun.
"I grew up camping and being in the outdoors, and everything else," he expounded. "My brother-in-law and I, when my sister got married, we got more involved in it. Now between us, we have quite a collection of rifles, handguns, and shotguns."
The skills he utilizes in shooting are easily transferable to the seat of his race car. While it may seem that both shooting and racing are about getting from point A to point B as fast as possible, when broken down and analyzed, sometimes it is best to methodically reach these destinations, as Hindi explains.
"With the shooting, you have to slow everything down mentally," he said. "That is kind of what happens in the race car. It does actually help with the focus in the car."
Another similarity between racing and shooting is that one has to stay in control of the situation the entire time. Whether shooting at a target 300 yards away, or negotiating the second turn on a bullring, being calm and still is essential.
"If you have too much adrenaline going, you will not hit what you are aiming at," he explained. "It's actually about calming yourself down. That's the same thing in the car. If you have too much adrenaline pumping, then you will be jittery and make mistakes. The same translates to shooting. If you're not calm and you don't have your hands steady and straight and have your mind relaxed, then you're going to be all over the place, just like in the car."
Racing like shooting presents many new challenges every time Hindi sits in the race car. This weekend he will visit two more tracks for the first time. On Saturday night he will take to the snug 3/8-mile at Wilmot (Wisc.) Speedway followed by a trip to the tight quarter-mile at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway on Sunday.
Hindi has had plenty of success this season at tracks that he had never seen before. He started off the Gold Rush Tour with two consecutive Top-10 finishes at tracks where he was making his initial start at. He turned in an eighth place run at Black Hills (S.D.) Speedway and followed that up with a very solid sixth at Nodak (N.D.) Speedway. Both of those are 3/8-miles tracks, which will bode well for him when he pulls into the pit area at Wilmot.
"We haven't been to a lot of the tracks we have raced at this year," said Hindi. "We had never been to Rapid City (Black Hills Speedway), Minot (Nodak Speedway), or Skagit Speedway. We had never been to quite a few race tracks, and we have run well at them. You look at the track initially and compare it to other ones you have run in the past. Then after hot laps you just go from there. A race track is a race track, they all have four corners and two straight-a-ways."
Hindi and his team have been very solid on short tracks this season, including picking up a dash win at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway to earn one of the two pole position he has had this season. He also showed his versatility on the fast and spacious half-mile at Calistoga Speedway, as he won the dash and pole position on the first night of the Harvest Classic and backed that up with sixth place finish.
When asked what makes him so fast on the short tracks, he pauses, smiles, and shrugs.
"I don't know," joked Hindi. "Maybe it is because I don't have a lot of time to think about what I am doing," he said. "A track like this (Jackson Speedway) has real long straight-a-ways, and you are looking at the corner for an eternity until you get there it seems. At a track like Wilmot, you just keep turning as much as you can."
With nine race dates left on the calendar Hindi is focused on one thing. He sits 12th in series championship points in the strength of eight Top-10 finishes. In addition to this, he has set fast time on two different occasions. The fan favorite is excited not only to race on the bullrings this weekend, but to return to Williams Grove Speedway next weekend for the National Open. He set fast time on the always fast half-mile earlier this season with a stout field of 41 cars on hand.
"I still think we have a win coming," Hindi said. "I don't know if it will be here or at the Grove or at Tucson. We've been real close a few times this and we have been real off as well. Now we are getting more and more consistent and running up front. We are getting use to being up there. Sooner or later, we'll get one."
For ticket information about the race at Wilmot Speedway on Saturday September 23 visit www.slspromotions.com, or call 815-344-2023. Adult reserved tickets will be $35, with adult grandstand tickets just $12. All tickets for children ages 6-12 will be only $12, while kids 5-under will be admitted free of charge with a paying adult. Pit pass combos will also be available for $38.