Hines Keeps Busy During NCTS Off Week; Looks To Collect Five Wins in Three Divisions in Five Days New Castle, Ind. - (May 25, 2004) Tracy Hines could easily be confused for a throw-back racecar driver from the 1950s and 1960s. Not content...
Hines Keeps Busy During NCTS Off Week; Looks To Collect Five Wins in Three Divisions in Five Days
New Castle, Ind. - (May 25, 2004) Tracy Hines could easily be confused for a throw-back racecar driver from the 1950s and 1960s. Not content with just one ride, Hines will race just about any type of racecar whenever he has the opportunity. With his NASCAR Truck Series team off until June 4 at Dover International Speedway, Hines will do just that by attacking several open wheel challenges during the off week.
The first event on the calendar is a 50-lap USAC Sprint Car race on Wednesday at Anderson Speedway, in Anderson, Indiana. The following night sees the action move to the Indianapolis Speedrome, where the USAC Midget Car Series will battle for 100 laps on the tight, flat one-fifth mile oval. On Friday, the USAC Silver Crown division tackles the one-mile Indiana State Fairgrounds oval in Indianapolis in a 100-mile feature. The next event on Hines' schedule is the traditional "Night Before the 500" 50-lap USAC Midget race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Closing the week is a 30-lap Sprint car feature at Ohio's Eldora Speedway.
Five events in five nights in three different types of racecars.
That type of schedule would be difficult for just about anyone. However, for Hines, it is just a walk down memory lane. Hines has won 52 feature races in his USAC career, and has earned championships in both the Silver Crown and Sprint car division. Hines has had such a solid grasp on the three different types of cars that he earned the USAC "Super License" in 2000 by scoring more feature event points than any other driver.
"It can be difficult to get into all these different kinds of racecars in such a short period of time," Hines said. "But I have been doing it so long that after a few laps in hot laps, I am adjusted and ready to go fast."
Hines will make his return to one of the tracks that helped start his career when he takes the wheel of the Wilke-Pak Mopar Midget car at the Speedrome on Thursday night. Hines was the Midget rookie of the year at the track in 1992, the only season he raced at the facility.
"I haven't been back there since I won the rookie of the year back in 1992," Hines said. "I am definitely looking forward to it. It should be like riding a bike, even though I haven't done it for a long time I think once we get there it will come back to me really quick. It's a fun little place. Just like all the other tracks we go to, the setup is going to be the biggest key. My family has had a lot of success there though, my brother was a three-time champion there, and winning this one, especially on Rich Vogler night would mean a lot."
On Friday, Hines goes from USAC's smallest national touring series car to the biggest when he jumps into the Silver Crown car for the 52nd Hoosier Hundred.
"This is the same team I have been with since 1997," Hines said, referring to the Indiana Underground Construction team with which he won the Silver Crown championship in 2000. "We have a lot of experience together and I look forward to getting there and going for the pole and the win. There is a $50,000 bonus to the pole sitter if he decides to start at the back and wins the race. We have already made up our mind on that deal. If we are the fastest qualifier, we're starting last and going for the big bucks."
After 100 miles in the Silver Crown car, Hines returns to the Wilke midget for the 59th running of the "Night Before the 500" classic.
"This is one of those races that everyone wants to win," Hines said. "I've had some really good runs there, and finished second a couple of times and third a time or two. To me, I want to win every race as bad as any other. But it's one I definitely want to add to my resume."
Finally, on Sunday Hines and the Hoffman Auto Racing team head to the famed high-banks of Eldora Speedway. With his main focus on the NASCAR Truck Series, Hines has been forced to pick and chose which USAC events he can attend and compete in 2004. It is no coincidence that Eldora is the track that Hines will race at most often in his open wheel exploits in 2004.
"I love Eldora," Hines said. "I'd race there every week if I could. It is big and fast, and it separates the men from the boys. You can run high or low or in the middle. When I said every race is important, I meant it. But there is something special about winning at Eldora."
Hines returns to the ThorSport No. 88 Menards Chevrolet on June 4 when the NASCAR Truck Series visits Dover International Speedway.