HINES & STEELE EYE RETURN TO USAC RACING AT "COPPER WORLD CLASSIC" IN PHOENIX NOVEMBER 8; YELEY, EAST ALSO AMONG ENTRIES Two of the most prolific feature winners in USAC's 52-year history hope to return to USAC competition for...
HINES & STEELE EYE RETURN TO USAC RACING AT "COPPER WORLD CLASSIC" IN PHOENIX NOVEMBER 8; YELEY, EAST ALSO AMONG ENTRIES
Two of the most prolific feature winners in USAC's 52-year history hope to return to USAC competition for the first time in five months when the 32nd "Copper World Classic" presented by FASTSIGNS Southwest unfolds at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway on Thursday, November 8.
Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. and Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. have spent most of the 2007 USAC campaign on the sidelines for different reasons but both are planning to compete at P.I.R. in the November 8 USAC "twinbill." Hines, who has 62 career USAC National wins to his credit, was sidelined in May with leg injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident at his Indiana home. Steele, with 59 career USAC National wins, elected to stay close to his Florida business interests through the summer.
Hines last competed in the April 28 Lucas Oil National Sprint race at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio where he finished ninth behind race winner Robert Ballou. Steele finished fourth in his last USAC outing, a USAC Midget race at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind. June 16 won by Bryan Clauson.
Steele is the defending "Copper World" Midget Champion and has won the last five Silver Crown races at the one-mile paved oval. Hines continues to seek his first P.I.R. victory after finishing 14th in last year's Midget feature. Steele also won the "Copper World" Midget race in 2002.
Hines has been entered in a Tony Stewart Racing Midget as a teammate to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Levi Jones for his Phoenix return, while Steele is entered in one of three Midgets fielded by car owner Steve Lewis.
"My plan is to try to run the Midget race, but it will probably be a race-day decision," says Hines from his New Castle, Ind. home. "I haven't flown since the accident so I'm not sure how my right knee will react when I get to Phoenix but we're going to give it a try. We made some modifications so that the seat and car are more comfortable, so it all depends on the knee now. I feel pretty good physically and look forward to getting back in the car." Hines has been receiving training and therapy at St. Vincent's Sports Performance Center in Indianapolis.
Steele has spent the better part of 2007 working in his Tampa speed shop and racing occasionally in TBARA winged sprint car events in his home state. "We've won about half of the races we've run this year," he says. "We tested the Midget at P.I.R. last week and I guess we're ready to defend our title."
Also expected to compete at Phoenix are NASCAR vets J.J. Yeley and Bobby East, along with the rest of USAC's National and Western regulars.
The November 8 Phoenix program includes a 25-mile feature for the National/Western Midgets and a 100-mile race for the K & N Silver Crown machines.
The Phoenix racing weekend also includes the November 9-10 Checker Auto Parts/Budweiser "Western World Championships" at Manzanita Speedway, featuring the cars and stars of the Lucas Oil National and USAC/CRA Sprint Series.