New Castle, Ind.—Feb. 18, 2015— The annual winter trip to Florida serves a few purposes for Tracy Hines and his team. First, the veteran driver is able to shake off any off-season rust when he climbs back behind the wheel. Second, he is able to see how his team stacks up against his fellow USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series competitors, after an off-season spent in the shop. Last, but certainly not least, he is able to escape the cold and snow of Indiana for a couple of weeks. This year’s trip has been extended to six race nights at a pair of tracks in the Sunshine State.
Hines will open the Florida swing in The Carolina Nut Co. DRC on Friday, February 20, Saturday, February 21 and Sunday, February 22 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, as part of the Bubba Army Winternationals. The event was pushed back a day due to heavy rains earlier in the week. Action then shifts to East Bay Raceway Park for the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series on Thursday, February 26, Friday, February 27 and Saturday, February 28.
“Have three additional races in Florida this year is fantastic,” said Hines. “We’ve battled weather a few times in the past down there and it’s a long way to drive to have just a couple of races, so having a total of six makes it more than worth the travel. The field will be strong from top to bottom and that will make time trials even more important each night.”
Last season at Bubba Raceway Park, Hines finished second on opening night. Following a rainout, the native of New Castle, Indiana, came home sixth in the finale of what became a two-night show.
Hines won two of the three nights during the event in 2013 at Bubba Raceway Park. He has made 10 career starts at the three-eighths-mile track, picking up five top-10 finishes along the way.
“We’ve always run well at Ocala (Bubba Raceway Park),” he noted. “They have made some changes the last few years to the track, but we seem to adapt pretty quick and have a solid baseline for that place. Last year we were fast there, so hopefully we can pick right back up and be in contention each night.”
The 2002 Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series champion has made two starts in his career at East Bay Raceway Park, with both of those coming in 2010. Hines finished 11th in both 30-lap main events. A $5,000 bonus is on the line at East Bay for any driver that can sweep all three nights. Also, if a driver wins two of the three races, they will pocket an extra $500.
“It’s been a few years since we’ve been to East Bay, so every hot lap session will be important,” Hines said. “East Bay is pretty unique in how the track surface is affected when the tide rolls in. It changes a lot throughout the night and you have to stay up on that and adjust accordingly.”
Hines spent a few weeks this off-season racing a midget in New Zealand, where he picked up a win, along with four top-five finishes in five starts. He also competed in the famed Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month, where he finished eighth in the Race of Champions and was 17th in the preliminary feature on the third qualifying night. Hines wound up eighth in the first B-main on the final night, just missing a transfer spot in the 55-lap main event by two positions.
Last season with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series, Hines won twice and recorded 19 top-10 finishes, of which nine were top-five performances, en route to a sixth-place showing in the point standings. He also stopped the clock fastest in time trials on three occasions.
Hines is set to contest the full 2015 Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series slate, which currently features 45 race nights at 24 tracks in 11 states. The veteran driver has won a USAC National event in each of the last 19 years and looks to extend that streak to 20 years, as he again looks to compete in all three USAC National series.
Live pay-per-view video coverage of the events at Bubba Raceway Park will be available for purchase at www.thecushion.com. The East Bay rounds will be broadcast byXSan.tv and also available for purchase.
Tracy Hines Racing would like to thank Primary Sponsor: The Carolina Nut Company. Associate Sponsors for 2015 include: Elliott’s Custom Trailers and Carts, Hansen’s Welding Inc, MPHG Promotions Inc., Turbines Inc., Parker Machinery and Hughs Brothers. Product Sponsors that are part of Tracy Hines Racing in 2015 include: Afco Racing Products, Hoosier Racing Tires, Indy Race Parts, Schoenfeld Headers, Shadow Graphix, Bell Racing, Earl’s Performance Products, Autonet Mobile, ProSource Professional Resources, Race Bumpers, Driven Racing Oil, Sander Engineering and Kenny’s Components.
For more information on Tracy Hines Racing, visit http://www.tracyhinesracing.