McKENZIE, TN - The strength J&J Auto Racing continued to shine last weekend across the country. Tracy Hines took Andy Morales' ...
McKENZIE, TN - The strength J&J Auto Racing continued to shine last weekend across the country. Tracy Hines took Andy Morales' #27 J&J to victory lane at Irwindale Speedway, while Fast Freddie Rahmer continued his dominance at Lincoln Speedway in Al Hamilton's #77 J&J. In World of Outlaws action at I-55 Raceway, Donny Schatz stormed from 20th to fifth in his ParkerStores #15 J&J and Daryn Pittman finished ninth in his #3 Winnebago Motorhomes J&J.
Hines began the USAC Western States Sprint Car program at Irwindale Speedway by qualifying fourth in the field. He took the Morales' #27 J&J to the lead on the third lap and was in charge of the race until the 34th circuit when Tony Hunt passed Hines. A late restart set the stage for a six lap shoot, but Hines took command on the restart and never looked back to win his first sprint car race of the 2001 campaign.
"The car has been fast out of the box," said Andy Morales, owner of the famous #27 Tamale Wagon. "Jack (Elam) got this car to me last fall, and we were able to put the car together for the October race (10/14/00). Tracy was really happy with the car that night and he led 32 of the 40 laps before we lost the lead because of a left front shock malfunction. Winning on Saturday kind of made up for that. We were really strong all night. Tracy got the lead early and was able to fight off Tony Hunt for the win. It certainly feels good to win.
"We're really pleased with the car. Jack's incorporated some new things on his pavements cars and this is the first one to race on the West Coast. It's been fast both times on the track. We're working with Tracy on his schedule and hope to get back on the track soon, because we've got a dynamite combination."
Fred Rahmer continues to break records in Central Pennsylvania, and last Saturday he broke Steve Smith's overall record for local wins in Central PA by claiming his 246th feature win. The victory, which has third straight at Lincoln, was the fastest 25-lap feature staged taking only six minutes and 17.90 seconds. Rahmer put the Hamilton #77 J&J in the lead on lap ten when he passed Dave Ely's #29 J&J. Rahmer held on from there as Ely finished third ahead of hard-charging Lance Dewease, who came from 19th in the Joe Harz #88 J&J. Eight of the top ten finishers were driving J&J sprint cars.
"This is the first time my hands ever got cold driving a race car!" reacted Rahmer when told of his new 25 lap record, "We've got to salute the fans, it's just unbelievable...this is my job, or I don't know if I would have been here! This is one heck of a group of fans."
"It's all the equipment I drive," said Rahmer, "There are a lot of guys that could drive this car...we have such good equipment."
On the World of Outlaws tour, Andy Hillenburg, Schatz and Pittman continue to carry the J&J Auto Racing torch. Hillenburg remains in third place in the WoO standings after finding bad luck twice in Missouri last weekend. On Friday, he won his heat race, but had problems early in the feature and at I-55 Raceway, he had similar luck. He qualified the #2 J&J fifth in the field of 46 cars and started the 40-lap "A" Feature seventh, but had early contact with Craig Dollansky causing severe damage. He came from the rear of the field to finish 14th.
Donny Schatz made the drive of the night at Pevely as he was able to find a passing lane on a rubber-down one-lane track. He started 20th in the #15 J&J and was challenging for fourth place when the white flag appeared. He ended up fifth and feels confident about the J&J he has been driving.
"I think we're getting better and better," said Schatz. "We been starting in the back a lot the past two weeks, but Kenny Woodruff has done a terrific job of putting a fast car underneath me. I'm really starting to get comfortable. I think we're about ready to really start making some noise."
Pittman will join Schatz and Hillenburg at Texas Motor Speedway's Dirt Track on Thursday and Friday. Friday's race will air live on TNN: The National Network beginning at 9 PM (ET).