HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (October 20, 2004) - The ACDelco Chevrolet rolls into Memphis, Tenn., this weekend with history on its side. Despite a rotation of drivers that included Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kevin Harvick, Johnny Sauter and Ron Hornaday, the ACDelco Monte Carlo has finished in the top-five in four of the last five years at Memphis Motorsports Park. Add to that five consecutive top-five starts, one pole (2001) and a win (2000) and you have corporate domination.
For current ACDelco driver Ron Hornaday, the season and his tenure behind the wheel of the No. 2 Chevy is nearing an end. Last week at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Hornaday was named the driver of the No. 6 GM Goodwrench Silverado for Kevin Harvick, Inc. in 2005. Now that his driving future has been finalized, Hornaday has no distractions for the final five-race run to Miami, Fla.
"It's good to get the (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) deal done early, so I can concentrate on winning races," said Hornaday. "When I'm in the race car all I think about is how to make it drive better. But away from the track was tough because I had good offers and I knew I had to make a big decision. In the end, KHI was the best place for me. I am relieved that it is done."
Free to focus on racing, Hornaday is excited about his chances at Memphis Motorsports Park this Saturday. It has been one of his best tracks on the Busch Series schedule. In fact, Hornaday won in his very first start at the track in 1998, driving the No. 16 Chevy Silverado for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Since that race, Hornaday has scored three top-10 finishes, including last year's fourth place finish in the ACDelco Chevy.
"I have had a great feel for Memphis for some reason," said Hornaday. "I won in '98 after coming back from one-lap down after cutting a right front tire down. Then in '99, I cut the same tire down again and finished sixth. I guess if I can keep all the tires up, I should be in great shape this weekend."
Points of Interest...
* Memphis Track Stat...Hornaday has two top-10 finishes in three NBS starts at Memphis Motorsports Park. He won the 1998 NCTS event in the inaugural race at the track. He has completed every lap in NBS competition at Memphis. His best starting position is fifth (2003) and worst is 31st (2000).
* Record Breaker... Hornaday extended his NASCAR Busch Series record for consecutive races without a DNF. The ACDelco Chevrolet has been running at the end of 68 straight races. The last DNF for Hornaday was an engine failure at Kansas Speedway in 2002.
* What ya' Haulin'...The ACDelco transporter will unload chassis No. 036. It is the same drop-snout car that Hornaday drove to victory lane at The Milwaukee Mile in June. The car was also raced at New Hampshire International Speedway (6th) and Indianapolis Raceway Park (35th).
* Green-White-Hornaday...Ron Hornaday scored seven of his NASCAR Truck Series record 26 wins via green-white-checkered (G-W-C) finishes. He has the most wins of any driver in NASCAR under this finishing format. He won 70% of all G-W-C finishes he was involved in. Hornaday finished fifth after restarting eighth in his only Busch Series G-W-C of the year at Kansas Speedway.
* Keep on Truckin'...Hornaday was named the 2005 driver of the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Silverado for Kevin Harvick, Inc. in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Hornaday is a two-time NCTS champion and holds the record for 26 career wins.
No. 2 ACDelco driver Ron Hornaday on Memphis Motorsports Park...
What are your thoughts on this weekend's race at Memphis Motorsports Park?
"I can't wait to fire up the ACDelco Chevrolet this weekend. I have one of my favorite cars, so I expect big things this weekend. The key to this race for me is to keep the right front tire up (laughing). Back in the truck days, I cut the right front down in 1998 and then cut it down twice in 1999. I'm not sure what I was doing wrong, but we haven't had any issues since then, so cross your fingers."
What is the key to making your car work at Memphis?
"The key to getting around Memphis is making your car turn all the way through the corners. It is a pretty flat track. It looks like it has some banking, but you really don't use much of it. That's why I like the drop-snout car. It seems to turn really well and I like the way it feels getting into the corner. If I can get the car to turn like it did at Milwaukee and New Hampshire, we'll be in great shape."
Are you excited to be heading to the Truck Series next year or disappointed to be leaving the Busch Series?
"I love the NASCAR Busch Series. It has been one of the most competitive series I have ever raced in. The people that make the series work, like Tony Sizemore at Anheuser-Busch, are the things I am going to miss next year. This is a great series and I plan on running a few races. Don't worry, my Busch days are far from over. At the same time, I love the Truck Series. It helped make me who I am today. The racing is tight and competitive. I can't wait to rub fenders again."