Defending USAC sprint car champion Tracy Hines has submitted the first entry for the Oct. 8 Charlotte Dirt Doubleheader Nationals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe¿s Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Winston Cup stars Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman are among those whose success in the Indiana-based USAC sprint car series helped catapult them to national stardom.

The Charlotte Dirt Doubleheader Nationals on Wednesday night, Oct. 8, is the first Charlotte-area appearance of the USAC sprint cars in the series¿ 47-year history and marks the first time the series has visited the Tar Heel state in 21 years.

In 30 USAC sprint car races on both dirt and pavement this season, Hines has four victories, 15 top-five finishes and 24 top-10s aboard the Hoffman Auto Racing No. 69. He is locked in a torrid battle with Jay Drake for the runner-up spot in the point standings behind leader J.J. Yeley.

Hines, 31, was an Indiana state bicycle motocross champion before switching to quarter midgets and then working his way through the open-wheel ranks. The New Castle, Ind., resident recently made his NASCAR debut, competing in the Craftsman Truck Series event at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

The Charlotte Dirt Doubleheader Nationals, which also includes the late model stock cars of the O¿Reilly Southern All Star Racing Series, is part of UAW-GM Quality 500 Week which culminates with the inaugural nighttime running of the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Winston Cup event on Saturday night, Oct. 11, at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway.

Tickets for the Charlotte Dirt Doubleheader Nationals start at just $15 and can be obtained online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-455-FANS.