NEW CASTLE, Ind. — Oct. 24, 2013— With the temperatures falling in the Midwest and all of the non-wing sprint car racing events in that part of the country in the books, that means one thing for Tracy Hines and his fellow USAC competitors. It’s time to head west to wrap up the 2013 season in warmer locales, mainly the desert of Arizona, as well as Southern California. The stretch of races begins this weekend at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Ariz.
The 13th Annual Hose Advantage Hall of Fame Classic at Canyon Speedway for the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series is set for Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26. A full racing program will be in effect each night.
Hines, who pilots the Hansen’s Welding Inc. DRC, made a number of starts in 2012 at Canyon Speedway Park and picked up three victorious during the Winter Freeze at the one-third-mile oval. He finished among the top-five in five of the six rounds that comprised that mini-series to win the overall championship that pit the ASCS Canyon Region versus the USAC West Coast Series.
“We definitely turned a lot of laps at Canyon (Speedway Park) last season, with the winter races and then being there last fall,” said Hines. “We didn’t quite finish where we were hoping in the fall races, but learned quite a bit and have some good notes going back this time. The competition will certainly be tough with the guys we race against week in and week out, along with the west coast drivers.”
In the Hall of Fame Classic last fall at Canyon with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series, Hines finished sixth on the opening night and was ninth in the finale. On the opening night, the veteran was ninth-fastest lap in time trials of the 32 cars that were in attendance. Hines finished third in the first eight-lap heat race to earn a spot in the 30-lap main event. He started the A-Feature from the inside of the fifth row and gained a couple of spots in the early going and would eventually cross the line sixth.
Hines took the checkered flag in the finale in the ninth position. He finished second in the third heat race to open that night, after qualifying 15th. The 2002 USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series champion lined up on the outside of the seventh row for the 30-lap main event and worked his way forward, in the feature race, which was slowed by a pair of yellow flags and one red flag period.
“Having a two-night show is a plus,” he noted. “There are only a few times over the course of the season where we have a multi-night event, and you always run across a few things on the first night that you can apply on the second. We did well in Florida to open the season when we had a few nights in a row and the same at Kokomo (Speedway) back in August. With how tough the competition is, you have to try and take advantage of everything you can.”
With the Honda USAC National Midget Series in the Western Classic at Canyon Speedway Park last season, Hines finished fourth. The native of New Castle, Ind., opened the night by recording the seventh-fastest lap in time trials of the 28 cars that took to the track. Hines followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the third eight-lap heat race to earn a spot in the 30-lap A-Feature.
Hines enters the Hall of Fame Classic sixth in the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series standings. He has two victories on the season to go along with 15 top-10 finishes. A total of four nights of racing remain on the 2013 calendar for the series.
“We have a handful of sprint car races left this season and we want to make the most of them,” Hines said. “We won those two races early in the season in the sprint car and have not won since, so we that’s what we have our sights set on. Having raced quite a few times at Canyon (Speedway Park) should work in our favor a little bit.”