Tracy Hines Racing PR (New Castle, IN) — As he has done for just about the last 20 years, Tracy Hines will head to the Chili Bowl to begin yet another open wheel racing campaign this week. The native of New Castle, Ind., won the event in 2005, adding his name to the prestigious list of past Chili Bowl victors.
The 28th edition of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Presented by General Tire is set for Jan. 14–18 at the Tulsa Expo Raceway, a quarter-mile clay oval, located inside the River Spirit Expo Center at Tulsa’s Expo Square. A total of four qualifying nights will divide the 250-plus car field, with the top-three finishers on each of those nights earning a spot in the finale on Saturday, Jan. 18. Hines will take to the track in his familiar No. 24 Parker Machinery/Powered by Toyota Spike on John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night, which is Thursday, Jan. 16. Being a former Chili Bowl winner, Hines will also take part in the Vacuworx Invitational Race of Champions on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
“With all the cold and the snow we’ve had lately, we’re even more excited than normal to get to Tulsa and race,” said Hines. “The Chili Bowl has grown into such a huge event and drivers from just about every discipline of racing are there and fans from across the world make the trip as well. It’s definitely one we always circle on our calendars and it’s a great way to break up the off-season before heading to Florida.”
In last year’s Chili Bowl, Hines finished fifth in a preliminary feature on the third of four qualifying nights, after lining up 13th for that 25-lap contest. He opened the night by powering his way from sixth to second in the fifth heat race. Hines would follow that up with a fifth-place finish in the third A-Qualifier, which earned him a spot in the preliminary feature.
By virtue of his fifth-place finish in his preliminary feature, Hines started third in the first B-Main on the final night of the event. A DNF (did not finish) in that 15-lap race would end his week in Tulsa. Hines kicked-off the 2013 Chili Bowl by competing in the 20-lap VIROC V Race of Champions, finishing eighth in a star-studded field.
“We had a pretty good qualifying night and just missed getting locked in for Saturday night by a couple spots,” said Hines. “We had a great starting spot in the B-main and just didn’t have luck on our side. Luck is a part of things at an event like the Chili Bowl when you have the number and quality of cars out there. You have to be fast, be in the right place at the right time and have luck on your side.”
Hines has qualified for the main event at the Chili Bowl 12 times in his career, which has him tied for fourth among active drivers with the most starts. In 2005 he was victorious twice at the Chili Bowl. Along with winning the main event, he also won a preliminary feature. The 2000 Traxxas USAC Silver Crown and 2002 Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series champion has nine career top-10 finishes on the final night of Chili Bowl in 12 starts, with three of those being top-five performances. In addition to his win in 2005, Hines has one other podium finish, with that coming in 2009, as he finished second to Sammy Swindell, the winningest driver in the history of the Chili Bowl.
“I’ve been pretty fortunate over the years at the Chili Bowl,” shared Hines. “To have been able to win the event is certainly a great accomplishment. As a racer though, you always want to win it again and that’s what we’ve been trying to do for the last handful of years. We’ve come close a couple of times. As always it will take a near perfect week out there and you have to continue to pass cars every time you are on the track to improve your chances for the final night.”
Last season, Hines competed in all three USAC National Series. The veteran driver scored wins with the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series, Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series and the Honda USAC National Midget Series Pavement Championship. In points, Hines was the runner-up in the Honda USAC National Midget Series Pavement Championship, was third in the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series, ended up fourth in the Honda USAC National Midget Series Dirt Championship and was sixth in the final tally for the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Car Series.
Along with piloting his Parker Machinery/Powered by Toyota Spike at the Chili Bowl, Hines will field an entry and turn the wrenches for fellow Hoosier, C.J. Leary, the 2013 Lawrenceburg Speedway sprint car track champion. Leary competed in the Chili Bowl last year for Hines’ team. Leary’s machine will also be a Spike chassis with a Toyota powerplant under the hood. The native of Greenfield, Ind., will hit the track on Friday, Jan. 17, as part of the Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night.
Tracy Hines Racing would like to thank: Parker Machinery, Powered by Toyota, Turbines, Inc., Afco Racing Shocks, Schoenfeld, Stanton Racing Engines, Daum Motorsport, Indiana Underground, Hoosier, Bell and Drivin Racing Oil.
For more information on Tracy Hines Racing, visit http://cts.vresp.com/c/?