Midget Title Gives Hines Career Triple Crown

Tracy Hines
Tracy Hines
Tracy Hines

PERRIS, Calif. — Tracy Hines may not have won the Turkey Night Grand Prix, but he still retired from full-time racing in victory lane.

Hines finished sixth Thursday night at Perris Auto Speedway and clinched the USAC National Midget Series title, making him the sixth driver to win USAC’s Triple Crown of championships during his career.

Hines won the USAC Silver Crown Series championship in 2000 and the USAC National Sprint Car Series title two years later. The 43-year-old Indiana driver is retiring from full-time competition to become team manager for the Thorson Racing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team.

“It’s really just a relief to end it and do this in the final night,” Hines said. “I’ve been running every race and chasing points for 20 years and it just has worn me down. I’m happy to have something good to do that is involved with racing now after my driving days, and I’m happy to go out on top winning the championship in this division.

“It’s been a trying year at times, but we persevered and met this goal. To join such a great group of racers who have won the Triple Crown is pretty cool, as I know them all and raced against all but one, and we’ve battled with each other all along the way.”

Tony Stewart and J.J. Yeley are the only drivers to win all three USAC titles in a single season, while Pancho Carter, Dave Darland and Jerry Coons Jr. have also accomplished the career Triple Crown.