HINES SEEKS 4TH “BRANSON-LARSON” SPRINT AT ELDORA
Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. seeks a record fourth “Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic” victory this Saturday when the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint cars visit Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Last year he became the second three-time race winner (Jay Drake also won three) and his 85 total USAC National race victories are tops among “active” USAC drivers.
Hines is also chasing Tom Bigelow’s all-time career leading 52 series victories and stands at 45, just one back of Jack Hewitt after winning twice at Ocala, Fla. in February. He’s fifth in the current series points, 31 behind point leader Chase Stockon. Hines’ three “Branson/Larson” wins came in 2001, 2008 and last year.
Robert Ballou and Jerry Coons Jr. also have two previous “Branson/Larson” wins and could join the three-time winners list Saturday.
Third-ranking Bryan Clauson (Ocala) and seventh-ranking Kevin Thomas Jr. (Lawrenceburg) also have 2013 series victories and will be among challengers Saturday.
The Eldora race salutes the late drivers who lost their lives in 1966 USAC Sprint racing accidents. Branson, USAC’s 1959 Midwest and 1964 National Sprint Car Champion, scored 13 victories in the Sprint cars. Larson earned 15 USAC Sprint wins. Both were veterans of the Indianapolis 500. Larson won three times in USAC Sprint competition at Eldora and Branson won twice.
Chase Stockon stands eight points ahead of Hunter Schuerenberg entering the Eldora race. Both drivers have “top-ten” finishes in all four races held this season.