Hines, in his first race driving for Foyt as well as first race in the new generation Silver Crown Series, led the final four laps of the 67-lapper for his seventh career series victory after leader Wayne Reutimann Jr.’s car came out of gear on Lap 64. The victory earned Hines $26,000.
“The double zero (Reutimann) and the 26 (Pierce) were the class of the field," said Hines, who started fifth in the No. 14 Green Special C&R/Chevy. “But one thing we worry about is keeping our car consistent.…The Greer Special was awesome. They called me over the winter and asked me to drive, and I said sure. I’m glad I did."
Hines admitted after the race he didn’t have the best car, and he was right. That belonged to Reutimann, who battled with polesitter Aaron Pierce over the first 50 laps and was in position to win his second series race.
Reutimann soared past Pierce on Lap 9 and, at points, established as much as a six-car advantage. He and Pierce weaved through traffic, and despite leading all the way until Lap 64, didn’t have a comfortable advantage until just 17 laps remaining.
Pierce lost an engine on the main straightaway, his car bellowing smoke from the start/finish line all the way into Turn 1. That misfortune led to the race’s only caution.
And even that caution, which slowed the event to an average speed of 156.779 mph, didn’t do justice to Reutimann. With five cars separating him and Hines, Reutimann ran off. Hines, in turn, lost second when Pablo Donoso went two-for-one, first passing Cameron Dodson for third and Hines for the runner-up spot.
Hines regained the position in the waning laps, and together, with Donoso and Dodson, started cutting deep into Reutimann’s lead.
The lead was cut to a second and a half before Reutimann’s car slowed considerably. Hines made the pass on the inside going into Turn 1, while Donoso squeaked by on the outside, nearly hitting the Turn 1 wall. The cause for Reutimann came as car coming out of gear.
With his main competition out of sight, Hines pulled away from Donoso and Dodson, and celebrated Foyt’s 50th anniversary in major open-wheel motorsports with the coveted winner’s trophy.
“We’ve still got some things to learn," said Hines, the new point leader by 12 over eighth-place finisher Paul White. “Yesterday (Thursday) was the first time I ever sat in one of these cars. This was our test because I had never had a test prior to this week. So this was a good start in one of these."
Eleven of the 17 cars finished the race. Rookie Ryan Moore finished fourth, while Reutimann came away with fifth, the last car on the lead lap.
The series returns to action May 5 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.