BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Never mind the fact that Tracy Hines spends more of his time now racing machines with fenders than he does open-wheel cars.
The New Castle, Ind. native still knows how to wheel a Sprint car around on dirt, and Friday, he proved it again, leading all 30 laps of the second round of USAC's Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" at Bloomington Speedway in the No. 69 Dynamics Inc. Kroger/Tide/Bounty/Pringles F-5/Mopar.
It was the second USAC Valvoline National Sprint Car Series race Hines has won this season. He also won on the pavement at Anderson, Ind. earlier in the season.
Hines was ahead only slightly when the green flag flew to start the race, but benefited from an aborted initial start in which Drake took the lead, who handed the point back to Hines after Corey Smith flipped in Turn 4.
On the next start, Hines -- who started on the pole -- jumped ahead of Drake and proceeded to drive away, establishing a four-car length lead at the end of three laps.
That advantage slipped to nothing by Lap 4.
Mat Neely, driving hard into Turn 4, flipped wildly on that lap and brought out the feature's second red flag. Neely was uninjured in the accident.
Hines took off again and was never headed thereafter, yet was pressured continuously throughout the remainder of the 30-lapper.
Drake and Darland fought for the next 18 laps for second and to be the next driver to challenge Hines for the lead. Darland finally took the runner-up spot on Lap 22, and began reeling in Hines, who struggled to maneuver through the turns.
But a Darland mishap in Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 25 sent the two-time "Indiana Sprint Week" champion sliding up the high-banked oval, and allowed Hines to pull away and Drake to gain ground. By the time the checkered flags flew, Hines had increased the gap to over a half straightaway over Darland, with Drake in tow.
Levi Jones and North Vernon winner Cory Kruseman also finished in the Top 5 for the second consecutive race, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
By virtue of his second-place finish, Darland vaulted into the Valvoline "Indiana Sprint Week" points lead, which sits at three over Hines. Kruseman sits in third.
Darland also leads the USAC Valvoline National Sprint Car Series points over Drake. The competitors take their cars to round three of "Indiana Sprint Week" on Tuesday at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville.