Hornaday teams with Foyt for 2001

AVONDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 3, 2000) A new NASCAR Winston Cup Series team in 2001 will combine one of the biggest names in motorsports with one of the most successful drivers in the history of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. A.J. Foyt announced ...

AVONDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 3, 2000) A new NASCAR Winston Cup Series team in 2001 will combine one of the biggest names in motorsports with one of the most successful drivers in the history of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

A.J. Foyt announced Friday he has hired Ron Hornaday to drive the No. 14 Conseco Pontiacs next year in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition.

Hornaday, a winner of 25 races and two series titles in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, has spent the 2000 season as a first-year driver in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division ranks, where he has guided the No. 3 NAPA Chevrolet to Victory Lane twice.

"Ron is an aggressive, no-nonsense kind of driver. I like that," Foyt said. "I like the way he races. He's a hard charger and a proven winner. He knows how to win races and championships. That's what I want for this team and what I want for my partner, Conseco."

Foyt, one of the winningest drivers and owners in the history of open-wheel racing, has struggled as a NASCAR Winston Cup Series car owner. Rick Mast, Foyt's third driver this year, is 33rd in the driver standings and has not finished better than eighth in any event of NASCAR 2000.

The fiery Foyt has a reputation for being a demanding boss, but that's not a concern for Hornaday, who has spent the past six seasons driving for Dale Earnhardt, another owner long regarded as a tough customer.

"I know A.J.'s tough on drivers. He's tough on people," Hornaday said. "I'm used to it."

Hornaday, son of two-time NASCAR Winston West Series champion Ron Hornaday Sr., dominated on various levels at tracks throughout the Southwest before going to work at Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 1995. His victory total remains the all-time record in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Since DEI officials announced earlier this season that they would be shifting their focus away from their NASCAR Busch Series operation next year, Hornaday has entertained several offers for 2001 and beyond. Accepting a ride with Foyt will position Hornaday, 42, to compete for the NASCAR Winston Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year award in 2001.

"I feel very fortunate to be standing here today," Hornaday said. "I have been waiting my whole career for this kind of opportunity. You better believe I'm going to make the most of it."

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Rick Mast , A.J. Foyt