Hines Scores First Career NCTS Top-5 in Mansfield; ThorSport Team Members Collecting Checkered Flags Around Midwest Sandusky, OH - Tracy Hines drove the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet to his first career NASCAR Truck Series top-5 finish in Sunday's...
Hines Scores First Career NCTS Top-5 in Mansfield; ThorSport Team Members Collecting Checkered Flags Around Midwest
Sandusky, OH - Tracy Hines drove the No. 88 Menards Chevrolet to his first career NASCAR Truck Series top-5 finish in Sunday's UAW/GM Ohio 250 at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. For Hines' ThorSport teammates, it was their first top-5 finish since the Daytona 250 at Daytona International Speedway in February 2000.
"We had a great truck right off the trailer," Hines said. "We were the fastest truck during Friday's open test session, and thought we had a legitimate shot at the pole. Then everything was turned upside down because of the weather. We went from thinking we had a chance at the pole to worrying if we were going to make the race. They lined us up on points, and thankfully we made it."
Hines started the race from the 36th, and final, position, and quickly worked his way towards the front. But all was not smooth for the Menards team.
"We started from the back and went towards the front," said Hines. "Then we got spun and had to go all the way to the back again. I know there was a lot of beating and banging out there, but I want to thank all the guys I raced with for racing us clean. These guys on the 88 team really deserve this. Before Mansfield was on the schedule, they used this track as their short track test facility, and all those hundreds of laps and great notes paid off."
For his efforts, Hines leapfrogged to second in the hunt for the NCTS Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award.
Hines and several of his ThorSport teammates have had success around the Midwest winning short track races. Hines recently scored a win in the USAC Sprint car division at Gas City Speedway in Indiana, while crew chief Jerry Cook has two late model wins, one at Toledo Speedway in Ohio, and most recently at Flat Rock Speedway in Michigan.
The latest ThorSport team member to collect a checkered flag is Jack Smith, who won the ASA Late Model Series feature at Baer Field Speedway in Indiana. Smith started on the front row and led the final 99 laps in the 100-lap feature event. Smith is a fabricator for both the ThorSport No. 88 and No. 13 teams.
"Everyone here wants to win races," Hines said. "We have all had some success in short track racing, and we are working very hard to bring that success with us to the No. 88 Menards Chevy. The wins in all of these other divisions just make us hungrier for a win over here."
Hines and the ThorSport No. 88 Menards Chevrolet continue the 2004 NASCAR Truck Series season this Friday in Charlotte for the Infineon 200. The race is scheduled for live broadcast on Speed, starting Friday at 8:30 pm Eastern.