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Published: Wednesday, 5/9/2001

Local racing: Hindall has the drive to organize a family dream

BY C.J. LANDRY

Two years ago Ed Hindall of Maumee, with the support of his wife, did what most 41-year-old race fans only dream about. He bought a race car.

As he was getting the blue 1994 Chevy Lumina street stock ready for the 2000 season at Flat Rock Speedway, Hindall found out first hand what people mean when they say that “auto racing is a family sport.” Of his seven-person pit crew, four are family members: wife Marian and daughters Renee and Nicki, along with Nicki's husband, Joel Kiger. Rounding out the crew are three people Hindall works with at MSC Walbridge Coating: Scott Fitzpatrick of Curtis, Mike Miller of Pemberville and Justin Beil of Maumee.

Depending on what happens to the car during the races he competes in on the quarter-mile asphalt oval at “The Rock” on Saturday night, Hindall said that he and the crew spend 10 to 20 hours a week getting the 350 cubic inch Chevy V-8-powered race car ready for the next race. Last week's major project found Hindall's oldest daughter, Nicki Kiger, outlining the No. 48's silver numbers with fluorescent orange paint.

“They told me that they couldn't see the numbers from up in the scorers' tower. They should be able to now,” Hindall said.

While Hindall, a Rossford High School graduate, looks forward to the challenge of competing against his fellow drivers each week at the southeast Michigan speedway, it is the family involvement that makes his “hobby” fun. “For all of us it's kind of a weekend outing.”

  • The wheel-to-wheel competition of short track racing gives Hindall, as would be expected, an adrenaline rush but time trials are a part of the program he could do without.

    “When you are out there with other cars you have something to set your pace by. `If he can run that fast, I can run that fast.' But when you're out there by yourself you have nothing to go by. It's just you and the track for two laps.”

    And just how important is it that one does his best while racing against the clock for those two laps? Hindall explained that one's time, the fastest of the two laps, determines not only where one lines up at the start of a race, but with the “five-tenths” rule, used at both Flat Rock and Toledo speedways, how fast you run in the races.

    “Any time you are leading a lap you are timed, and if you turn a lap 0.5 seconds faster than you qualified, you're black-flagged.” With the slower cars starting the heat races in the front rows this rule is designed to stop a driver from sand-bagging (turning a slow lap in a fast car in an effort to get a front-row starting position).

  • What is five tenths of a second on a quarter-mile track? During a recent Flat Rock program there was just seven tenths of second difference between the first and 20th-fastest cars in time trials. The fast qualifier had a time of 13.2 seconds.

  • One of the new formats used in some of Attica Raceway Park's Friday-night sprint car programs this season finds the top two finishers in each heat race qualifying for the dash. A racer's finish in the dash determines where he starts in the A-Main.

  • A black flag goes to this scribe for a couple of loose lug nuts in last week's column. The supermodified organization that will be competing at Toledo Speedway on June 8 is The International Supermodified Association (ISMA). The California non-wing sprint organization that has some drivers interested in competing in Fremont Speedway's “Jack Hewitt Non Wing Challenge” on June 20 is the Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA).

  • Fremont Speedway's public relations director, Brian Liskai, reported that the track's new clay surface installed last fall/winter held up extremely well under the recent All Star Circuit of Champions winged sprint car program. Not only did Dean Jacobs break Dale Blaney's track record (set June 18, 1997, at 12.618) with a time of 12.562, but he was one of nine drivers clocking in the 12-second bracket.

    Get-well cards and letters to 305 sprint car driver Cortney Rapp, who was injured in an accident at Fremont Speedway on April 28, will reach her at: Cortney Rapp, c/o Ed Kennedy, 1265 Sandusky Co. Rd. 238, Fremont, Ohio 43420.

  • Ottawa Lake's Dave Baumgartner won the first ARCA Auto Value/NAMARS Midget Series co-sanctioned race of the season recently at Shady Bowl Speedway.

  • Recent Wednesday-night drag racing action at Norwalk Raceway Park saw Dan Collins, Oregon, defeating Leo Karcsek, Oregon, in the Mean Motorcycle finals. Scott Mascheri, Port Clinton, took home the top honors in Super Stock.

  • Special programs this weekend include the 100-lap Royal Truck & Trailer/G Tec Toledo Gold Cup 100 for ARCA late models Friday night at Toledo Speedway. Saturday night finds a vintage car show in addition to the regular racing program at Fremont Speedway. Michigan Mobile Glass Autograph Night at Flat Rock Speedway features an on-track autograph session from 6:15 to 7 p.m.



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