It’s Hines On First Night Of Gold Crown

Tracy Hines plans to chase USAC's Triple Crown during 2013. (Don Figler photo)
Tracy Hines (24) rolled to victory on the first night of the Gold Crown Nationals at Tri-City Speedway in Illinois. (Don Figler photo)

PONTOON BEACH, Ill. — Tracy Hines led every lap on Thursday night at Tri-City Speedway to notch his fourth Mopar National Midget Series win of the year in the Parker Machinery – Turbines, Inc. No. 24 Spike/Toyota.

Hines jumped to the lead from the front row and held a commanding lead out front. Behind him, Brad Sweet and Alex Bright diced for the second spot before Sweet took it for good and ran off after Sweet. Meanwhile, after starting fifth, Kyle Larson got off to a slow start but was coming on as the laps clicked off.

After Larson disposed of Bright, he ran down Sweet in no time as the top three were in the thick of heavy traffic. The Elk Grove, Calif., driver was coming strong as he slid in front of Sweet and started to carve into Hines’ substantial lead. With the laps winding down the duo pounded the cushion all the way around, disposing of lapped cars all the way up to tenth along the way.

With the checkered flag in the air, Larson tried one final desperation slide-job on Hines that came up short, and Hines held a 0.654-second advantage over Larson at the line.

Larson came home second in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD No. 71 Bullet/Speedway Toyota fresh off his Mopar Midget win at Eldora Speedway two weeks ago.

Sweet, making his first Mopar Midget start of the season, held on for third in the Three Wide Life – Fatheadz Eyewear No. 56 Beast/Esslinger.

Bryan Clauson came on strong over the closing laps to net fourth in the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports – Toyota TRD No. 67 Bullet/Speedway Toyota, while Bright rounded out the top-five in the Lightcap Electric – Elite Chassis No. 77 Elite/Fontana.

Clauson also banked $2,000 for winning the companion non-winged sprint car race.