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Hinde On Fast Track To Success Steps up To Super Late Models

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Michael Hinde

Hinde On Fast Track To Success Steps up To Super Late Models

KIMBERLY KELLY
FOR THE CHRONICLE

This time last year Michael Hinde was preparing to compete in his first-ever stock car race. He was young, his car was fast, and he had a vision.

“I like to set goals really high, not too easy to exceed,” Michael Hinde said of a stout goal sheet.

That vision has kept him in the fast lane ever since.

In the Modified Mini division he finished second his first night out at Citrus County Speedway. Two weeks later he scored a win at Auburndale Speedway.

By the end of the 2020 season he had drove his way to a championship title at CCS.

“Before my first race we went to track and rented a few practice sessions to get ready,” He said. “Every day, every week, we worked on car to make us better.”

It was a short season, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but Hinde was able to find a track to race at as the state began to reopen.

“Traveling to a bunch of tracks when Citrus wasn’t racing helped me with my driving,” he said. “It helped me improve and learn to be consistent. We raced at Citrus (County Speedway), Auburndale (Speedway), and 4-17 (Southern Speedway),” Michael Hinde said.

That seat time paid off with top Rookie of the Year honors, four top-3s, one top-5 finish, and the championship title at CCS.

“On the last race it came down to a few points between me and Kevin Harrod” he said. “We were having problems. The brakes went out. The clutch was slipping.”

Throughout the race the problems steadily worsened.

Harrod initially won that race but was disqualified when his motor was declared illegal.

The disqualification not only took Harrod from the official lineup but was enough to keep him from securing the division championship which, had he won the event, would have been his.

Hinde finished fourth that night and won the championship title 19 points ahead of Kilfoil, and 25 points in front of Harrod.

Soon after he was crowned the 2021 Rick Sirmans Memorial Florida State Champion after parking his Modified Mini in victory lane.

Tonight, he is set to take on Citrus County Speedway’s Super Late Model 75.

“I want to be the best driver I can be,” Hinde said. “I want to travel to more tracks in faster cars. That has been my goal.”

Last September he took the first step to meeting that goal when he posted a top 10 finish the Super Late Model event at 4-17 Southern Speedway.

His second SLM event came at CCS where he acknowledged he messed up in qualifying. A third of the way thru the race Devin McLeod, Daniel Webster and Hinde got together.

“It killed the front of my car,” Hinde said. “The Toe was knocked out, everything was bent.”

Since then, Hinde has had quite the off season.

He finished 15th in the Third Annual Billy Bigley Sr. SLM Memorial, third in the Red Eye 50/50 SLM race.

“It was my best race so far in the Super Late Model,” Hinde said. “It was my first time ever at (New Smyrna Speedway). I qualified sixth and started on the pole inside of Jeff Scofield.”

Hinde stayed to the inside of Scofield for about a lap before settling into second.

“I was running him down on every corner,” he said.

By lap 40 Jesse Dutilly was in his rear view mirror.

“He got under me one time, I got back by him, he got back around me,” he said.

He finished 10th in the first round of the Triple Crown at Showtime Speedway.

Most recently Hinde competed in NSS’s World of Asphalt Series where he posted one top five and three top 10’s in the Pro Late Model division. He finished the Orange Blossom 100 SLM race 14th.

There are seven Super Late Model shows at Citrus County Speedway this season including tonight’s Mike Scott Plumbing Super Late Model 75. Legends Cars 25, Signfast Pure Stock 25, Crockett’s Towing Ford Outlaw 25, and the O’Reilly Auto Parts Mini Stock 25 are also on the night’s race card.

For Hinde it is an opportunity to showcase what he has learned during the offseason.

“I feel like, unlike the other guys that race at Citrus, we will be way more prepared,” he said of the extra seat time and experience he has gained.

As for tonight’s SLM race Hinde said, “I’m hoping for at least a top three, or maybe even my first win in a Super Late Model.”

KIMBERLY KELLY | FOR THE CHRONICLE

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