It’s All Hines In Bubba Army Sprint Finale

Tracy Hines takes the checkered flag Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. (Hein Brothers photo)
Tracy Hines takes the checkered flag Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. (Hein Brothers photo)

OCALA, Fla. — Tracy Hines closed out the Bubba Army WinterNationals at Bubba Raceway Park Saturday night with his second consecutive victory in the 30-lap feature for the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint car Series.

Friday night he benefitted from race long leader Robert Ballou’s flat tire but this time there was no luck involved as he led every lap of the three-eighths-mile dirt track en route to his 46th career USAC national series victory.

And while Hines was happy, second-place finisher Tyler Courtney was absolutely ecstatic after shooting past Hunter Schuerenberg on a restart with two laps to go to lead fast-timer Chase Stockon, Ballou, Schuerenberg, Levi Jones, Brady Bacon and Dave Darland to the checkered flag.

“The track came to me,” said the 18-year-old. “I was tight early but then it slicked off. I wish I’d had a couple of more laps to try to get a run on Tracy but this is pretty exciting. It’s only the 20th race I’ve ever run.”

Hines’ run to victory lane was interrupted by a handful of yellows for spins and minor crashes but when the green was out, he was the class of the field while some other big names, Bryan Clauson and Dave Darland among them, struggled.

Schuerenberg, who started third, passed polesitter Courtney on lap three and chased Hines the entire distance. His best shot came when a lapped car brought Hines to a near stop on lap 24, but he too had to check up when the car swerved and Hines got away.

The final yellow flag came with but a lap remaining after a car spun in turn four and Clauson suffered a flat tire.

“I was persistent and they finally slipped up and I got my nose in there, too,” declared Stockon, who was fighting for fourth when Schuerenberg slipped on the restart.

“It wasn’t as easy as it looked,” offered Hines with a grin. “I’m excited for the team because it’s so hard to win back to back with the competition we face here. But tonight this car would go anywhere I wanted, top, bottom and even the middle. It was really good.”