APRIL 20TH SEASON OPENER NEWS & FACTS
HINES BANKING ON ELDORA EXPERIENCE AS PROPELLANT TO VICTORY
ROSSBURG, OH (April 16) – Coming into Saturday’s (April 20) USAC (United States Auto Club) National Sprint Car event at Eldora Speedway, only one of the top five in the 2013 cumulative point standings has pulled their Sprint Car into victory lane at the historic .500 mile clay oval. Tracy Hines, the veteran of the quintet at 40 years of age, has nine USAC Sprint Car triumphs to his credit and sits fifth in the points ranking, only 31 points behind current leader Chase Stockon.
Two of this wins came this past season; giving Hines propellant and confidences going into Saturday. The New Castle, IN second generation driver is the only active USAC member among the top five feature winners poised to challenge Jack Hewitt’s chart topping 13 victories. Ironically, Hines’ first win came in 1999, one year following Jack Hewitt’s final USAC Sprint Car win in 1998; during his heralded Four Crown Nationals sweep.
Sitting between 25 year old Stockon and Hines in the points chase are drivers who are nearly half of Hines’ age – Hunter Schuerenberg, Bryan Clauson and Brady Bacon, each 23 years old.
Of those ahead of Hines, Clauson has the best credentials based on 2012 Eldora performances. The Noblesville, IN chauffeur is fresh off of a USAC Silver Crown victory during the Four Crown Nationals, had a second-place Sprint Car run on July 28 and is the defending National Sprint Car champion. However, victory at Eldora in a Sprint Car has eluded him to date. Stockon had three runs among the top ten, including a pair of fourths, while Schuerenberg’s best run was 15th in the April season opener. Bacon made his Eldora USAC Sprint Car debut at the Four Crown with an impressive 8th place finish.
While all five drivers have the initiative going Saturday’s chase, Hines has the experience of victory and will be use that to boost his chances of taking the 30-lap checkered flag. Joining the USAC National Sprint Cars in a tripleheader program will be the UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and Eldora Stock Cars.
PAST DECADE HAS SEEN FIVE DRIVERS CAPTURE INAUGURAL USAC SPRINT CAR WINS VIA ELDORA
ROSSBURG, OH (April 16) – In the past decade, 16 drivers have captured USAC National Sprint Car victories at Eldora Speedway. For five of them, it was their initial trip to victory lane and on one of the most renowned ovals of the USAC trail.
Boston Reid kicked off the trend in 2003, while Dickie Gaines followed with his win the following season. Matt Westfall turned the trick in 2006, while one year later (2007) it was Robert Ballou etching his name into the history book and then it was Brad Sweet keeping the trend going into the next year (2008).
Four years have passed since anyone else has joined the USAC Sprint Car victory ranks via the Eldora route, but there is quite a crop of aspiring drivers that have hopes to end that trend this Saturday night (April 20) when the National tour invades. Brady Bacon, currently fourth in the points race, is one of them, as is second generation driver C. J. Leary and one of the most exciting to watch drivers on the tour, Scotty Weir.
WESTFALL DOING DOUBLE DUTY SATURDAY, WITH PREVIOUS WINS IN BOTH CLASSES
ROSSBURG, OH (April 16) – Matt Westfall will be one busy driver Saturday night (April 20) at Eldora Speedway as the historic .500 mile clay oval makes its second attempt to kick off the 2013 racing season, its 60th consecutive. Hailing from nearby Ludlow Falls, OH, Westfall will be competing in the two open wheel divisions that will make up the tripleheader program – USAC National Sprint Cars and UMP DIRTcar Modifieds. Rounding out the evening will be the Stock Car division.
Westfall is riding into the event with a good deal of Modified momentum and renewed non-winged Sprint Car enthusiasm courtesy of Best Performance Motorsports which is fielding a pair of number 54 rides for him. He is currently holding down fifth position in the UMP National Point Standings which is quite a fete as 496 drivers have competed in the series to date. A Modified victory during February’s UNOH DIRTcar Nationals in Florida was complemented with a checkered flag run last Saturday at Lawrenceburg, IN. He tasted Modified success at Eldora in 2011.
The number 54 has always been good to Westfall. It also adorned the familiar family-owned Sprint Car that he rode to a USAC win in 2006. A former non-winged Sprint Car champion at Waynesfield (OH) Raceway Park, Westfall has had his current ride out a couple of times into the young season and has been struggling to get the bugs worked out. A return to his home grounds may be the therapy to get that job done.
JON HENRY PARKS LATE MODEL THIS WEEKEND TO BEGIN CHASE OF ELDORA MODIFIED CHAMPIONSHIP
ROSSBURG, OH (April 16) – After disappointment set in last year, causing Jon Henry to take a brief hiatus from racing, he is approaching 2013 with much anticipation and enthusiasm. As a former Eldora Speedway champion in the UMP DIRTcar Modified class (2010) and as Late Model co-champion the following hear, he has set a lofty goal of capturing both titles again – in the same year. That quest begins this Saturday (April 20) when the venerable Eldora .500-mile clay speed plant makes its second attempt to kick off its 60th consecutive season of racing. The first attempt was thwarted by inclement weather April 13.
While both classes were schedule for last week, this week’s menu has only the Modified class for Henry’s attack. They will join the USAC National Sprint Cars and Eldora Stock Cars in a tripleheader program.
The weekend prompted a choice for Henry, who fields his own Late Model and this year drives the Miracle Motorsports owned Modified. Would it be a Sunoco American Late Model Series race in Michigan or UMP DIRTcar Modifieds at Eldora? For the Ada, OH native, the answer came quickly.
“I feel racing at Eldora on any given night is an ‘event’ and if you win at Eldora, in any division, people really recognize that. I grew up at this race track and I want to win there. My commitment this year is two Eldora championships,” explained Henry of his choice.
His first opportunity to test the Eldora Late Model waters will be during the Johnny Appleseed Classic by Miller Lite on Sunday, May 26.
Complete event information, along with ticket and campsite purchase opportunities, may be obtained by visiting the track’s website www.EldoraSpeedway.com, or by calling the speedway office at (937) 338-3815. Additionally, race fans and race teams can get behind-the-scenes access by following @EldoraSpeedway on Twitter, hitting ‘Like’ at Facebook.com/EldoraSpeedway and view video highlights at YouTube.com/EldoraSpeedwayInc. The new Eldora Speedway app for the iPhone, iPad and Android is now available for download via iTunes and Google Play.