Tri-State - Dion Hindi spotlight

Hindi Hits the High Banks of Tri-State Speedway If Dion Hindi wasn't racing sprint cars, 90 nights a year, he would certainly make a good philosopher. The second-generation driver is always able to thoroughly analyze situations both in and out...

Hindi Hits the High Banks of Tri-State Speedway

If Dion Hindi wasn't racing sprint cars, 90 nights a year, he would certainly make a good philosopher. The second-generation driver is always able to thoroughly analyze situations both in and out of the race car from multiple angles, and is very adept at finding a silver lining in even the most dire of circumstances.

This week, he will return to a track that he ran very well at last season, the high-banked quarter-mile bullring, Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana, on Saturday, April 21. Even with a solid run last season at the track, Hindi, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico holistically views the track the exact same he does each and every track he visits from coast-to-coast, whether he has been there a single time or many times.

"It's another race track," said Hindi, driver of the J&J. "It doesn't matter what the race track is. They are all the same when you get running on them."

Hindi has been gaining momentum the last couple weeks, after he earned a spot in the dash on April 6 at Paducah International Raceway. A solid run in that event, earned him a ninth-place starting spot in the A-Feature. That came after a very solid 10th-place effort in time trials with a stout 39 car field in attendance. Last season, he won two dashes to earn two pole positions, in addition to setting fast time twice, including at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania.

"We just need to get more consistent," explained the always focused driver, when looking at the first 13 races of the 2007 season. "When we have a good night, we're pretty good, and when we have a bad night, we are really bad. We need to be consistent and good anywhere we go."

Hindi is looking forward to the World of Outlaws schedule picking up in the next couple weeks. This weekend, two events capped by the visit to Tri-State Speedway dot the schedule, and that will give him two chances to continue to build on the solid foundation that he and crew chief Lester Groves have established.

"It is tough to get into a rhythm only racing on the weekends," commented Hindi. "It's like throwing a yellow flag in the middle of a 30-lap race. You're pumped up and you're racing with three or four guys and then there's a yellow flag that takes everything that you were doing away."

Despite some bad luck the last couple of weekends, Hind was able to find a silver lining in his first trip to Paducah International Raceway in the A-feature, despite early contact ended his night. Being a car owner in addition to a driver, he has to always analyze situations from both a business and a competition standpoint, again putting his philosophical nature to good use.

"We've had some bad luck, and some of that has been self-inflicted bad luck," said the always well spoken driver. "At Paducah it was a blessing that I hit the fence, because the engine was ready to let go. If I would have kept running it, that would have been a lot more expensive than just an axle here or a wheel there. You kind of have to make your own luck in this deal."

Hindi, who returned full-time to the World of Outlaws in 2006 after a number of seasons racing in his home state of New Mexico, had a very solid campaign, finishing a career-best 12th in series points on the strength of eight Top-10 finishes. He has finished in the Top-20 in points with the World of Outlaws, in four separate seasons, including three consecutive from 1996-1998.

"All the cars out here are really good cars, and they are all capable of running in the Top-Five or Top-10 each night," he said. "That is no different than any night last year. We averaged plenty of cars last year, and at all the big races, we had the best car from all over the country. It doesn't matter who is there, you still have to beat all of the cars on the race track."

With 28 teams currently competing full-time with the series, Hindi is quick to point out the importance of time trails each night, where the Top-16 qualifiers earn spots in the heat race inversion, meaning they start in the first two rows of the heat races, with the fastest four qualifiers, lining up fourth in each heat race. The cars that time 13-16th start on the pole position of each of the heats, in a standard four-heat program.

With the top-two finishers in each heat race this season earning a spot in the dash, that makes getting to the front in the heat races that much more important. The final two spots of the dash go to the fastest two cars in time trials that transferred to the A-Feature by way of their heat, but were not first or second in that event, also putting significant importance on time trials.

"Time trials are key each night, especially with the way the dash is lined up," he explained. "Your whole night is predicated by starting on the front or the second row of the heat race, if you qualify good enough. All of the cars out here are capable of winning a heat race from the front row. That makes it very important to get that Top-16 spot in time trials (to be in the 16-car inversion)."

The event at Tri-State Speedway continues a stretch of races for the World of Outlaws on high-banked tracks. While most of the tracks have been vastly different in size the series has raced at the last couple weeks, it still provides the teams a good baseline when they arrive at the track to help set their car up.

"On a higher banked race track, you can run the car a little bit harder," Hindi explained. "There's not as much backpedaling or slowing down for the corner."

After running strong on the bullrings last season, Hinds looks to continue that success this season, as the series will visit a number of ¼-mile tracks over the course of the nine-plus month season. When asked what the key to being consistent at Tri-State Speedway is: Hindi stops, smiles and uses some of his quick wit.

"You count to two and turn, and you count to two again and turn," quipped Hindi. "That's how quick it is."

On Saturday April 21 at Tri-State Speedway, general admission tickets for adults will be $30, with reserved tickets $35. General admission tickets for children ages 6-12 are $15, with reserved seats $25, and kids 5-under will be admitted free of charge.

-credit: woo

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Series World of Outlaws
Teams Williams